Pierzynski drives in two under lights vs. Astros

Pierzynski drives in two under lights vs. Astros

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jose Altuve recorded three hits and Colby Rasmus highlighted his own multihit performance with a three-run homer that propelled the Astros to an 8-5 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at Champion Stadium. A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-5 with two RBIs for Atlanta.

Rasmus' shot in the sixth inning off Brandon Cunniff proved to be decisive for the Astros, who also benefited from Jed Lowrie's leadoff homer in the fourth against former Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez allowed three runs on eight hits and notched eight strikeouts over five innings in his final audition for a spot in Atlanta's rotation.

Altuve and Jonathan Villar began the game with doubles and Luis Valbuena added an RBI single before Rodriguez recorded the game's first out. After benefiting from the home runs hit by Rasmus and Lowrie, the Astros produced some cushion courtesy of a pair of unearned runs against left-hander Luis Avilan in the eighth inning.

Astros starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski had limited the Braves to a pair of singles before Freddie Freeman and Kelly Johnson began the fourth inning with consecutive doubles. Atlanta gained a brief lead with a four-run fifth inning. Two hit-by-pitches and an error by first baseman Jon Singleton on Nick Markakis' grounder helped prolong the inning long enough for Pierzynski to deliver a two-run single.

Wojciechowski finished having allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Up next for the Braves: Phil Gosselin, Todd Cunningham and Pedro Ciriaco will attempt to strengthen their respective bids for a roster spot when the Braves travel to Clearwater to play the Phillies on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Julio Teheran is scheduled to pitch three to four innings in what will be his final tuneup before his Opening Day start against the Marlins on Monday.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.