Houston (4-3) at New York (3-5)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Thu Apr 14, 2005
  • TV: FSSW, FSNY
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Having started their season with five straight losses, the New York Mets are looking to extend their winning streak to four as they try to post a three-game series sweep over the Houston Astros at Shea Stadium.

During his team’s five-game skid to start the season, New York’s first-year skipper Willie Randolph refused to criticize his players, saying it was only a matter of time before things would turn around.

Lately, his patience is paying off.

Jose Reyes’ RBI single with one out in the 11th inning Wednesday night gave the Mets their third straight victory, 1-0 over the Astros.

“This is the kind of team we want to be, staying in all the innings,” Randolph said. “They came through at the right time.”

The Mets have used late-inning rallies in each of their wins, scoring five runs in the eighth innings on Sunday and Monday for comeback wins against Atlanta and Houston.

The Astros haven’t been swept by the Mets in a three-game series in New York since April 9-11, 1993, and are looking to Brandon Backe keep that streak intact.

Houston hopes that Brandon Backe can end its slide. The right-hander pitched well in his first start of the season, allowing two runs and six hits, striking out five and walking just one over five innings, but didn’t earn a decision in the Astros’ 4-3 win over the Reds on Saturday.

He will be making his first career start against the Mets.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Backe Hou vs. V. Zambrano NYY
10-8 Record 7-12
4.76 ERA 4.17
97 K 112
67 BB 77
1.46 WHIP 1.48