The Atlanta Braves have pulled even with the Houston Astros in their best-of-five Major League Baseball divisional playoff series, 1-1. The host Braves won Game Two Thursday, 7-1.
Atlanta rookie Brian McCann hit a three-run home run in his first postseason trip to the plate. He did it while facing veteran Houston pitcher Roger Clemens. Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz kept the Astros bats quiet as he reclaimed the title of baseball's winningest postseason pitcher. The right-hander improved to a 15-4 record in his first October start since the 1999 World Series. Game-Three is in Houston on Saturday.
In the other National League series, the St. Louis Cardinals took a commanding 2-0 lead against the San Diego Padres. Pitcher Mark Mulder kept the visiting Padres scoreless into the seventh inning as the Cardinals built an early lead on the way to a 6-2 victory. Game-Three is Saturday in San Diego. The Cardinals led all major league teams with 100 wins in the regular season.