Mets 7, Astros 3
NEW YORK (AP)—Only one problem with rookie David Wright’s first home run at Shea Stadium: the souvenir ball was long gone.
Wright singled in the go-ahead run and later homered into Houston’s left-field bullpen, sending the depleted New York Mets past the Astros 7-3 Tuesday night.
“One of the bullpen guys tossed it up in the stands, I guess,” he said.
In a matchup of fading teams in danger of dropping from wild-card contention, the Mets ended a three-game losing streak and handed Houston its fifth loss in six games.
“The funk has got us so cloudy we’re not sure what we’re doing,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “When you pitch poorly, you’ve got to score a lot of runs and we haven’t been doing that.”
The Mets won minus injured catcher Mike Piazza (knee) and shortstop Kaz Matsui (back).
Five hours before gametime, Mets pitcher Tom Glavine lost two front teeth and needed stitches for a cut lower lip after an automobile accident while going from nearby LaGuardia Airport to the ballpark in a taxi cab. He was scratched from Wednesday night’s start.
“I’m just thankful it’s not worse,” Mets manager Art Howe said.
Steve Trachsel (10-8) won for the first time in six starts since the All-Star break. He left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, when the Mets pulled away with three runs.
Pete Munro (2-4), who grew up just minutes from Shea Stadium and pitched at nearby Cardozo High School, retired the first seven batters in easy fashion. It was a struggle after that, and he was gone after five innings.
“I couldn’t stay out of the big inning. In the fourth, I just couldn’t get the ball down,” he said.
Wright struck out in his first at-bat, and hitting coach Don Baylor took him aside for a quick talk in the dugout, saying he was pulling his head off the ball.
Wright, the Mets’ third baseman of the present and future, singled up the middle past the drawn-in infield to cap a three-run burst in the fourth that put the Mets ahead 4-3.
“I made some adjustments,” Wright said.
Cliff Floyd and Hidalgo, playing against the Astros for the first time since being traded, began the inning with doubles. Mike Cameron followed with an RBI single that rolled under center fielder Carlos Beltran’s glove for a two-base error, and Wright singled.
Wright led off the seventh with a home run to left field off reliever Tim Redding. Wright’s previous three homers for the Mets came on the road, and he got a nice cheer when he rounded the bases and again when he batted in the eighth.
“This one was definitely more exciting,” Wright said. “Just to hear the crowd cheering sends chills down your spine.”
Said Howe: “That’s one of many throughout his career, I think.”
The game featured a couple of unusual plays on the bases.
Houston put runners at the corners with no outs in the second and Jose Vizcaino grounded to Wright. After getting a forceout, second baseman Joe McEwing chose to throw home instead of making the double-play relay, and Jeff Kent slid in to score.
The next batter, Brad Ausmus, hit a low liner to Reyes at shortstop. Reyes thought he caught it and threw to first, hoping to double up Vizcaino, who also thought it was a lineout. Instead, the ball was correctly ruled a trap, and Vizcaino remained at first.
The next inning, Reyes rounded second base and wandered too far on Eric Valent’s RBI infield single, and was tagged out.
After the game, the Astros optioned Redding to Triple-A New Orleans and put LHP Darren Oliver on the 15-day disabled list because of a tight left shoulder. The Astros recalled RHP Chad Qualls and LHP Carlos Hernandez from New Orleans. … The Mets began wearing patches to honor longtime announcer Bob Murphy, who died last week. … Houston slugger Jeff Bagwell went 0-for-3 with a walk, and is hitless in nine at-bats.