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New York at Houston

Scoreboard
N.Y. Mets (46-50) «0032000128130
Houston (49-48)3000000003101

Hernandez overcomes shaky start, Mets shoot down Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The New York Mets' season may not be a lost cause just yet.

Livan Hernandez struck out a season-high seven after a rough start, and the Mets' offense produced for the second straight game in New York's 8-3 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.

The Mets have 10 players on the disabled list, including Gary Sheffield and regular leadoff man Jose Reyes, and arrived in Houston after losing five of their last seven games.

Suddenly, things don't seem so bad after they piled up 38 hits and 22 runs in three days at Minute Maid Park to win a road series for the first time since early June.

"When you get a number of guys swinging the bats the way we're swinging the bats right now, you feel very confident that you can get something done," said Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

The Mets also got consecutive impressive starts in Houston, from Jonathon Niese in Saturday's 10-3 win before Hernandez on Sunday.

Hernandez (7-5) allowed only four singles after the Astros built a 3-0 lead in the first inning. He threw 107 pitches in seven innings and won his second straight start after losing the previous four.

Luis Castillo, Jeff Francoeur and David Wright drove in two runs apiece for the Mets, who had at least 12 hits for the third straight game. New York scored 18 runs in two games after scoring fewer than five in 15 of its previous 20.

The Mets open a 10-game homestand against Colorado on Monday with renewed optimism.

"The last two games, we've played great ball," said Francoeur. "It's big momentum for us coming home. We've got a shot."

Houston's Brian Moehler (7-6) gave up five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since June 9. He lost for the second time in seven starts.

"I did nothing right," Moehler said. "I didn't locate, I didn't pitch smart, I had nothing. It was just poor everything."

Hernandez was the pitcher in trouble early, needing 36 pitches to escape the first inning. Kaz Matsui walked with one out before Miguel Tejada, Carlos Lee and Geoff Blum hit consecutive doubles. Blum tried to score on Hunter Pence's single up the middle, but Angel Pagan threw to catcher Brian Schneider for the out at the plate.

Hernandez got a shot of confidence from the good defensive play.

"Plays like that keep you on the mound," Hernandez said. "They saved one run. That was big."

The Mets answered with three runs in the third.

Pagan reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Castillo's triple to right. Wright followed with an RBI single and scored later in the inning on Francoeur's sacrifice fly.

Alex Cora singled with one out in the fourth and scored on Pagan's triple. Castillo then laid down a bunt in front of the pitcher's mound and Pagan scored when Ivan Rodriguez couldn't handle Moehler's hurried throw home.

Alberto Arias started the eighth for Houston and Cora beat out an infield single. Pinch hitter Jeremy Reed then tripled to right center and Cora scored, the first earned run allowed by Arias in his last 23 appearances.

Castillo singled off Arias in the ninth and scored on Wright's double to center. Wright came home on Francoeur's single to center.

Francoeur has 14 RBI since joining the Mets on July 10 in a trade from Atlanta. He has multiple RBI in four of 12 starts in New York and said his transition from the Braves has gone better than he expected it would.

"From the coaches to the players, they've instilled a confidence in me," he said. "I feel comfortable at the plate, I feel that I'm going to be able to get a hit."

Notes

  • Hernandez made his 400th career start and Moehler made his 300th career appearance.
  • Pagan has an eight-game hitting streak.
  • Rodriguez struck out swinging three times against Hernandez.
  • The Astros dropped to 10-4 in the last 14 games Moehler has started.
  • The Mets won a series in Houston for the first time since September 2006.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Mets don't just use their bats to get the job done as catcher Brian Schneider displays in the first inning.  (AP)
The Mets don't just use their bats to get the job done as catcher Brian Schneider displays in the first inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

L. Castillo
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
New York Mets
Angel Pagan, CF5211012 .309
Luis Castillo, 2B4222100 .301
David Wright, 3B5222002 .318
Daniel Murphy, 1B5010022 .243
Jeff Francoeur, RF4012000 .261
Cory Sullivan, LF5010012 .214
Brian Schneider, C3010100 .212
Alex Cora, SS4220013 .242
Livan Hernandez, P3010011 .143
   a- Jeremy Reed, PH1011000 .264
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Sean Green, P0000000 .000
Totals39813826  
a-tripled for Hernandez in the 8th
Batting
2B - David Wright (26, Arias)
3B - Angel Pagan (4, Moehler), Luis Castillo (3, Moehler), Jeremy Reed (2, Arias)
SF - Jeff Francoeur (6)
RBI - Angel Pagan (6), Luis Castillo 2 (24), David Wright 2 (48), Jeff Francoeur 2 (49), Jeremy Reed (7)
2-OUT RBI - Angel Pagan (4), Luis Castillo (12), Jeremy Reed (3)
SB - Cory Sullivan (1, 3rd base off Moehler/Rodriguez), Alex Cora (8, 2nd base off Moehler/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Angel Pagan 1
DP - Castillo-Cora-Murphy, Castillo-Cora-Murphy
New York Mets
Livan Hernandez (W,7-5) 7833170 4.87
Pedro Feliciano (H,18) 0.2000010 2.82
Sean Green (S,1) 1.1200010 4.95
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 106-64, Pedro Feliciano 8-5, Sean Green 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 4-7, Pedro Feliciano 1-0, Sean Green 2-0
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 27, Pedro Feliciano 2, Sean Green 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4000020 .284
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3100101 .249
Miguel Tejada, SS4111020 .326
Carlos Lee, LF4131000 .309
Geoff Blum, 3B4021001 .277
Hunter Pence, RF4020001 .295
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000032 .261
Chris Coste, 1B3010010 .256
Brian Moehler, P1000010 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Kata, PH1010000 .222
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   b- Jason Michaels, PH1000001 .183
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
Totals33310319  
a-singled for Wright in the 5th
b-flied out for Fulchino in the 7th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (31, Hernandez), Carlos Lee (18, Hernandez), Geoff Blum (10, Hernandez)
RBI - Miguel Tejada (55), Carlos Lee (60), Geoff Blum (33)
SB - Kazuo Matsui (10, 2nd base off Hernandez/Schneider), Matt Kata (1, 2nd base off Hernandez/Schneider)
CS - Hunter Pence (7, 2nd base by Hernandez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Coste
E - Ivan Rodriguez (4, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler (L,7-6) 4.2855220 5.16
Wesley Wright 0.1000010 5.32
Jeff Fulchino 2000010 3.45
Alberto Arias 2533020 2.02
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 89-57, Wesley Wright 5-3, Jeff Fulchino 27-14, Alberto Arias 31-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 8-5, Jeff Fulchino 3-2, Alberto Arias 3-0
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 25, Wesley Wright 1, Jeff Fulchino 6, Alberto Arias 10
Game Information
Attendance - 34642
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Jerry Layne