ATLANTA (AP) - Bud Norris hasn't won a game in 21/2 months.
Norris held the Braves to one run through five innings before giving up three runs in the sixth inning of a 6-1 defeat to Atlanta on Sunday.
"I feel like I haven't been getting out of any jams all year," Norris said. "All the ground balls got through. There's nothing I can do there. I'm making the pitches and unfortunately things didn't go my way."
Since beating the Chicago Cubs on May 21, Norris is 0-8 with a 6.98 ERA in 11 starts. Norris (5-9) gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks in six inning against the Braves.
With the score 1-all in the sixth, the Braves had runners on first and second with two outs when David Ross hit a grounder that shortstop Marwin Gonzalez fielded a few steps toward third base.
A hustling Freddie Freeman beat Gonzalez's throw to second base, leaving the bases loaded. A wild pitch by Norris allowed Chipper Jones to score from third and put the Braves ahead. Paul Janish followed with a two-run single.
"It's been a long one for me," Norris said. "I've been throwing the ball as best I can and working hard and trying to get better, but I haven't caught that many breaks this year."
Norris struck out five in the first two innings and seven overall.
"He was really good today," Jones said.
Jones had two hits, including a run-scoring double in the seventh off Xavier Cedeno, in his final game against the Astros. The 40-year-old, who is retiring after the season, hit .322 with 20 homers in his career against Houston, which dropped to a major league-worst 36-73.
"It's a little sad to know I won't play the Astros anymore," Jones said. "It's hard because the Astros were a rival of ours for so long."
Jones said the Astros manager Brad Mills "whistled at me and said something from the dugout" and third base coach Dave Clark "came over and said something to me" about his last game against Houston.
Jones has hits in 29 of his last 33 games. He's hitting well above his career .305 mark, prompting some to wonder whether he will reconsider his retirement plans.
"Maybe," Gonzalez said with a smile.
"No, no," Jones said firmly.
Jonny Venters (4-3) pitched out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth to win in relief of Kris Medlen, who allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Atlanta remained three games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.
Kris Medlen, who allowed only three hits in his first five innings, left after back-to-back singles to Marwin Gonzalez and Brett Wallace with one out in the sixth. Cory Gearrin gave up a tying double to Justin Maxwell.
Venters, who had been rested due to a sore left elbow, entered in his first appearance since July 29 and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. After an intentional walk to Steve Pearce that loaded the bases, pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez grounded out.
Ross homered in the second.
Michael Bourn singled in a run in the eighth after Rhiner Cruz walked a pair of batters.
NOTES: Atlanta's Dan Uggla was 0-for-4 and his hitting .209. ... Cristhian Martinez had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning for Atlanta. ... Astros C Jason Castro, on the 15-day disabled list with swelling in his right knee, is scheduled to report to Triple-A Salt Lake City on Monday. He was scheduled to catch five innings with Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday. ... RHP Jair Jurrjens, on the DL with a right groin strain, will report to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday to begin a rehab assignment. Jurrjens had been removed from Atlanta's rotation but will start at Gwinnett. ... LHP Dallas Keuchel will pitch as the Astros open a four-game series at Washington on Monday night. ... RHP Ben Sheets will start when the Braves open a three-game series at the Phillies on Monday night.
The Associated Press News Service
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