|N.Y. Mets (64-64) «||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||x||2||3||1|
NEW YORK -- Mike Pelfrey nearly made the All-Star team with a terrific first half, then took a seven-start stumble that threatened to ruin his season.
He's determined to avoid that kind of letdown again.
Pelfrey allowed six hits in eight shutout innings and the New York Mets took advantage of a wild outing by former teammate Nelson Figueroa and a big baserunning blunder by Chris Johnson to end the Houston Astros' five-game winning streak, 2-1 on Friday night.
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"I got so far away from being myself and doing what I did early in the year and being successful. I've gotten back to that," Pelfrey said. "The next time there's some adversity or struggles, it shouldn't be from getting away from doing what makes me me."
Pelfrey (13-7) started the season 10-2, then went through a stretch of seven abysmal starts. But he's rebounded with four outings of at least seven innings.
This time, he threw a career-high 124 pitches and shut down an Astros squad that was coming off a four-game sweep in Philadelphia. The 26-year-old right-hander matched his major league best for wins, striking out four and walking two. He was 13-11 in 2008, his first full season in the rotation.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel credited Pelfrey's "aggressiveness in the strike zone" for his resurgence.
Johnson jogged through a stop sign at third base thinking there were three outs in the fourth inning and was caught in a rundown when right fielder Jeff Francoeur made a strong throw to home plate. Johnson thought Angel Sanchez's single was caught by Francoeur on a fly.
"It was a screw-up on my part. I got a bad read. He had his hands up so I thought he caught the ball," Johnson said.
Francoeur said he saw the third base coach's hands up to stop Johnson.
I didn't know what ... was going on," Francoeur said. "It worked out nice."
Angel Pagan and Ruben Tejada made nice defensive plays behind Pelfrey, and Hisanori Takahashi relieved Bobby Parnell with runners at the corners and one out in the ninth before earning his second save.
Facing the club that drafted him, rescued him in 2008 from a four-year international exile and ultimately cut him in April, Figueroa (3-2) was hurt by a lack of control. He gave up only three hits in seven innings but made several poor throws that led to the Mets' two runs.
"It was one play in the first inning when the ball doesn't go very far but it scores a run ... and I gave them a run in the fourth," Figueroa said. "I've got to go back and work on some timing issues and maybe some command."
Luis Castillo, back in a starting role because Jose Reyes aggravated a right oblique injury Thursday night, singled in the first. Figueroa's pickoff attempt to first base was off its mark and Castillo moved up a base on the error. He then raced to third on a wild pitch.
David Wright followed with a sacrifice fly, a popup to shallow center that second baseman Anderson Hernandez lunged at for an over-the-shoulder catch before making a weak throw up the third base line.
In the fourth, Figueroa walked two and gave up a single to Francoeur to load the bases. With Tejada up -- coming in, he was 1 for 36 since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug. 7 -- Figueroa threw ball four on a full-count pitch to make it 2-0.
Figueroa, who grew up in Coney Island, walked five and hit a batter with a pitch in his third start for the Astros. He said his dad was rooting for the Mets.
"Figgy did a good job, but at the same time, he was ahead in the count on those guys I think on all five walks," Astros manager Brad Mills said.
Francoeur's single in the fourth came after his throw home in the top half.
|Players of the Game|
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|Michael Bourn, CF||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.254|
|Anderson Hernandez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.234|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.285|
|Carlos Lee, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.247|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||3||0||2||0||1||1||0||.341|
|Brett Wallace, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||2||4||.187|
|a- Jason Michaels, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.257|
|Angel Sanchez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.270|
|Jason Castro, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.191|
|b- Tommy Manzella, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.208|
|Nelson Figueroa, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|c- Jason Bourgeois, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Mark Melancon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Wallace in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Castro in the 9th|
|c-singled for Figueroa in the 8th|
|2B - Chris Johnson (16, Pelfrey)|
|RBI - Jason Michaels (23)|
|CS - Michael Bourn (11, 2nd base by Pelfrey/Blanco)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - A. Hernandez-Sanchez-Wallace|
|E - Nelson Figueroa (1, Throwing)|
|Nelson Figueroa (L,3-2)||7||3||2||1||5||2||0||2.77|
|HBP - Francoeur (by Nelson Figueroa)|
|WP - Nelson Figueroa (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nelson Figueroa 113-66, Mark Melancon 9-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nelson Figueroa 6-12, Mark Melancon 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Nelson Figueroa 29, Mark Melancon 3|
|New York Mets|
|Angel Pagan, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.297|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.234|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.217|
|David Wright, 3B||3||0||0||1||0||1||0||.297|
|Ike Davis, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||.247|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||2||0||1||0||0||0||2||.234|
|Henry Blanco, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.245|
|Ruben Tejada, SS||2||0||1||1||1||0||0||.169|
|Mike Pelfrey, P||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.104|
|Bobby Parnell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Hisanori Takahashi, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.063|
|SF - David Wright (11)|
|RBI - David Wright (85), Ruben Tejada (8)|
|SB - Carlos Beltran (1, 2nd base off Figueroa/Castro), Jeff Francoeur (8, 2nd base off Figueroa/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|DP - Davis-Tejada|
|E - Angel Pagan (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Mets|
|Mike Pelfrey (W,13-7)||8||6||0||0||2||4||0||3.61|
|Bobby Parnell (H,5)||0.1||2||1||0||0||1||0||2.96|
|Hisanori Takahashi (S,2)||0.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.03|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 123-77, Bobby Parnell 10-7, Hisanori Takahashi 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 6-11|
|Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 29, Bobby Parnell 3, Hisanori Takahashi 3|
|Attendance - 30178|
|Game Time - 2:41|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Kerwin Danley|