New York (46-67) at Houston (61-52)

Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Thu Aug 7, 2003
  • TV: FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros will again be without Jeff Kent when they meet the New York Mets in the finale of their three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

On Wednesday, Kent dropped his appeal of a two-game suspension he received for pushing manager Jimy Williams into an umpire.

Baseball officials, who also fined Kent an undisclosed amount, said he pushed Williams into plate umpire Matt Hollowell while objecting to being thrown out for arguing a strike call during the Astros’ July 26 home game against the Chicago Cubs.

The veteran second baseman, who is batting .295 with 14 homers, served the first game of the suspension Wednesday. The Astros, however, didn’t miss him much.

Adam Everett hit the first inside-the-park home run at Minute Maid Park, and Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo each homered and drove in three runs to lead Houston to an 11-1 win. The NL Central-leading Astros, who had lost three of their previous five, had not achieved a double-digit run total since July 10.

“It was good for our offense to shake out of the malaise we have been in,” Houston outfielder Lance Berkman said. “We haven’t scored 10 runs in the last week. Anytime you see an avalanche of runs like that, it is usually a combination of the pitcher being off and the hitters swinging the bats.”

The Mets, on the other hand, had scored 34 runs in their previous three games, but they failed to mount much of an offensive attack on Wednesday.

New York is just 6-14 since the All-Star break.

STANDINGS: Mets - 5th place, 28 GB, NL East. Astros - 1st place, NL Central.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Steve Trachsel (9-7, 4.54 ERA). Trachsel has just one win in his past five starts. He allowed one run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings on Friday, but did not get the decision as the Mets fell 8-2 to St. Louis. The 32-year-old right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.86 ERA in 15 career games against the Astros.

ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Tim Redding (8-9, 3.73 ERA). Redding has been impressive in winning his two most recent starts, allowing just one earned run in 14 innings. On Friday, he gave up one run and six hits in seven innings of a 2-1 victory over the Florida Marlins. In two career games against the Mets, the 25-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mets - Cliff Floyd, .279 avg., 18 HRs and 62 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 59 runs and 9 SBs. Astros - Hidalgo, .317 avg.; Bagwell, 25 HRs; Berkman, 68 RBIs; Bagwell, Berkman and Craig Biggio, 74 runs; Bagwell and Everett, 6 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Mets, 3-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Mets - The Mets lead the NL with 303 games started by rookies. … C Joe Depastino, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, is hitless in two pinch-hitting appearances in his first two games. … SS Jose Reyes is batting .433 (13-for-30) with three stolen bases over the last seven games. Astros - C Brad Ausmus is batting .412 (7-for-17) with two homers in his career against RHP Trachsel. … CF Biggio was hit by two pitches Wednesday, increasing his major league-leading total to 16. … 1B Bagwell hit his 405th career home run Wednesday and is just two short of tying Duke Snider for 34th on the all-time list.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mets - 23-32 on the road; Astros - 34-21 at home.

INJURIES: Mets - C Mike Piazza (groin), 15-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (groin), 60-day DL. Astros - INF Jose Vizcaino (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Carlos Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Roy Oswalt (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Rodrigo Rosario (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Trachsel Bal vs. T. Redding Tor
16-10 Record 10-14
3.78 ERA 3.68
111 K 116
65 BB 65
1.31 WHIP 1.39