Mets 3, Astros 1

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- R.A. Dickey offered his usual stellar outing on the mound and added an infield hit of his own for good measure to get the New York Mets' struggling offense on the board Saturday.

He was later aided by Justin Turner's first homer of the season and a couple of key double plays as the Mets beat the Houston Astros, 3-1, giving Dickey his 16th win of the season.

The Mets continued their offensive woes, but maybe, Turner was the one to save them, to paraphrase a line from the second baseman's apparent pregame musical preference.

Turner, known for commandeering the Mets' pregame and postgame music selections, was the chief suspect in Saturday's pregame prank as several versions of the Oasis song "Wonderwall" played repeatedly.

Regardless of who was to blame for the seemingly endless playing of the song, Turner helped snap the Mets' six-game losing streak.

He also kept Dickey within range of a potential 20-win season as the NL Cy Young award candidate moved to 16-4 with a 2.76 ERA.

After Dickey was pinch hit for in the bottom of the seventh, Jon Rauch got the first two outs of the eighth and Josh Edgin secured the last one. Frank Francisco pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 21st save of the season.

Jason Bay snapped a 0-for-14 streak with a RBI single in the eighth to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Astros starter Fernando Abad, called up from Class AAA Oklahoma City, pitched well in his first major-league start. Abad (0-1) gave up a run on four hits, though he walked four while striking out two, in his first start after making 30 relief appearances earlier in the season.

The Mets barely scratched across that run as Dickey hit a ball off the end of the bat in front of the plate with two outs and a runner on third in the fourth. Abad grabbed the ball, but fell as he tried to make a difficult play. His throw was not in time and Dickey had a two-out RBI single for a 1-0 lead.

Dickey struck out just two, but walked only one, escaping jams with double plays in the fifth and seventh.

The Astros got a pair of one-out hits from Tyler Greene and Jason Castro in the fifth, when Dickey was called for a balk. Even rarer than the call was that the umpires reversed it, sending the runners back to first and second, after Dickey protested.

Brian Bogusevic then reached on the Astros' third straight hit to load the bases. But Dickey recovered by getting pinch hitter Steve Pearce to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

Turner gave the anemic Mets an insurance run with his sixth inning homer off reliever Mickey Storey to make it 2-0.

The Astros made it 2-1 in the seventh, but Dickey limited them to one run. Dickey hit Scott Moore with a pitch to lead off the inning and gave up a hit to Greene. But Ronny Cedeno, playing second base for a resting Daniel Murphy, made a leaping grab of Castro's liner for the first out before a wild pitch scored Moore. Bogusevic then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, to end the inning.

NOTES: Lucas Duda will return after rosters expand and will play left field and some first base, manager Terry Collins said. Duda, who was demoted at the end of July, played right field earlier this season, but will play his more natural positions later. ... Murphy pinch hit in the eighth and is expected back in the lineup Sunday. ... Astros reliever Chuckie Fick was sent to Class AAA Oklahoma City to clear a spot for Abad. Fick, picked up on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of July, was 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA in nine games for Houston. ... Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell was out for the fourth straight game with a bruised right index finger and was listed as day to day.
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