HOUSTON (AP) _ Mitch Meluskey homered twice and Wade Miller won for the third time in his last four decisions as the Houston Astros beat the Atlanta Braves 9-3 Sunday.

The Braves have lost five of seven and eight of 11, but still hold a half-game lead in the NL East over the New York Mets, who lost 4-3 in 11 innings to St. Louis.

Meluskey led off the fourth with a homer off Andy Ashby (8-12) and hit a two-run shot in the eighth for his first career multihomer game. Meluskey has three homers in the last two games.

Miller (4-5) gave up two runs, nine hits and three walks in seven innings. He struck out seven.

Ashby (8-12), who lost his fourth straight decision, gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings. He did not walk or strikeout a batter. Ashby left his last start Tuesday after six innings against the Reds with a blood blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

B.J. Surhoff led off the second inning for Atlanta with a triple and scored on Javy Lopez's groundout for a 1-0 lead. Keith Lockhart's RBI single in the fourth made it 2-0.

Meluskey's first homer started a five-run fourth inning for Houston. Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Moises Alou followed with singles to tie it at 2. Richard Hidalgo added an RBI double, Chris Truby had a run-scoring groundout, and Bill Spiers had an RBI infield single to knock out Ashby.

Truby's sacrifice fly made it 6-2 in the fifth.

Spiers singled to center, driving in Julio Lugo in the eighth and Meluskey followed with his 14th homer.

Notes: Meluskey's 14 homers are the most by an Astros catcher since Craig Biggio's 13 in 1989. ... Rafael Furcal has at least one walk in seven straight games. ... In losing the series 2-1, Atlanta has dropped six of its last 10 series.