HOUSTON (AP) - Brad Ausmus hit a two-run homer in his final game
with Houston and the Astros ended the season with a 3-1 win over
the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Wandy Rodriguez (9-7) struck out six in seven strong innings and
Jose Valverde shut out the Braves in the ninth to tie a franchise
record with his 44th save. Billy Wagner saved 44 games for Houston
Chipper Jones secured his first NL batting title, walking in his
only at-bat. Jones hit a career-high .364 to edge Albert Pujols and
become the NL's first switch-hitting batting champion since Terry
Pendleton won in his 1991 MVP season for Atlanta.
But the day belonged to the 39-year-old Ausmus, who caught a
franchise-record 1,249 games in 10 seasons. A free agent, Ausmus
has said he will retire if he can't sign with a team based closer
to his home in San Diego.
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