ATLANTA -- Cecil Cooper believes his Houston lineup is too good to be tied for last in the majors in runs, so he called on his biggest "horses" to hit.
Two batters in the middle of the lineup responded to the challenge.
Before the game, Cooper said, "Our big horses have got to hit. If they don't hit, the wagon don't move! We've got Clydesdales. Our Clydesdales have got to pull the wagon."
Entering the day, the Astros were tied with San Francisco for last in the majors with 80 runs scored.
"As a group we're stinking it up a little bit," Cooper said.
The Astros' 12 hits were their second-highest total of the season.
"We finally got some big hits for a change," Cooper said after the game.
The first hit was Berkman's sixth homer, a liner off Jair Jurrjens that barely cleared the left-field wall.
Houston still led 1-0 in the second inning when a rain delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes took Jurrjens and Houston starter Roy Oswalt out of the game.
Tim Byrdak (1-0), the third of six Houston pitchers, gave up two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
"Avoiding over-frustration is important right now," Jones said after the Braves' fourth loss in five games. "Because I'm teetering on breaking something myself."
The Braves opened the series with a 7-2 win over the Astros on Friday night, when they scored more than four runs for just the third time in their last 16 games. But their struggles resumed on Saturday.
"Our offense, there's no continuity," Jones said. "There's no flow. ... There's just something that happens to thwart a possible big inning."
Houston's fourth pitcher, right-hander Chris Sampson, hobbled off the field at the end of the seventh after Jones' grounder hit his right ankle. Sampson recovered to throw out Jones at first before falling back to the ground. He said he suffered a deep bruise.
"I booted a tailor-made double play," Jones said. "They scored three runs after it. ... We had the opportunity to keep them at bay. That play took us out of the ball game."
After the error, Pence's infield hit loaded the bases.
"That was the key at-bat in the whole game, in my opinion," Cooper said of Pence's single past Casey Kotchman at first base. "He got behind in the count and battled."
Two of the three runs in the inning were unearned. Jones was charged with a second fielding error in the seventh, when he couldn't snag Berkman's grounder.
It was Jones first game with two errors since March 31, 2003, when he committed two errors in left field against Montreal. His last game with two errors at third base was June 26, 2001, at Philadelphia.
Rookie CF Jordan Schafer had two hits with three strikeouts in his first game as the Braves' leadoff hitter. ... Houston had a season-high 13 hits in a 7-0 win over Cincinnati on April 18. ... The Braves are the only NL team that Oswalt hasn't defeated. He's 0-2 in six career starts against Atlanta. ... C Brian McCann, on the disabled list because of blurry vision, expects to report for his minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday or Wednesday as he tries to adjust to new glasses. McCann's fill-in, David Ross, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.