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Houston at New York

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Houston (58-70)000000001191
N.Y. Mets (64-64) «10010000x231

Mets 2, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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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.

After giving up a run-scoring single to pinch-hitter Jason Michaels, Takahashi got Sanchez to pop out to shortstop and struck out pinch-hitter Tommy Manzella to end it.

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.

Notes

  • Defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters threw out the ceremonial first pitch, from the top of the mound.
  • The Mets purchased the contract of infielder Luis Hernandez from Triple-A Buffalo to provide some infield depth while Reyes sits out. To make room for him, New York sent outfielder Jesus Feliciano to Buffalo.
  • Astros reliever Matt Lindstrom (lower back strain) and INF Jeff Keppinger (left big toe) should both be ready to return from the disabled list next week.
  • The Mets introduced their No. 1 pick in the June draft, RHP Matt Harvey. The seventh overall selection out of North Carolina will begin his career in the Instructional League.
 
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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Players of the Game
New York

M. Pelfrey
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
Houston

N. Figueroa
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 5
K 2
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF3010101 .254
Anderson Hernandez, 2B4000001 .234
Hunter Pence, RF4010010 .285
Carlos Lee, LF4110012 .247
Chris Johnson, 3B3020110 .341
Brett Wallace, 1B3010024 .187
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1011000 .257
Angel Sanchez, SS4010004 .270
Jason Castro, C3000001 .191
   b- Tommy Manzella, PH1000012 .208
Nelson Figueroa, P2000000 .222
   c- Jason Bourgeois, PH1010000 .234
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
Totals3319126  
a-singled for Wallace in the 9th
b-struck out for Castro in the 9th
c-singled for Figueroa in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Johnson (16, Pelfrey)
RBI - Jason Michaels (23)
CS - Michael Bourn (11, 2nd base by Pelfrey/Blanco)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - A. Hernandez-Sanchez-Wallace
E - Nelson Figueroa (1, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nelson Figueroa (L,3-2) 7321520 2.77
Mark Melancon 1000010 4.50
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
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Angel Pagan, LF4000001 .297
Luis Castillo, 2B4110011 .234
Carlos Beltran, CF3000100 .217
David Wright, 3B3001010 .297
Ike Davis, 1B2100210 .247
Jeff Francoeur, RF2010002 .234
Henry Blanco, C2000101 .245
Ruben Tejada, SS2011100 .169
Mike Pelfrey, P3000002 .104
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
    Hisanori Takahashi, P0000000 .063
Totals2523253  
Batting
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
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
DP - Davis-Tejada
E - Angel Pagan (4, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Pelfrey (W,13-7) 8600240 3.61
Bobby Parnell (H,5) 0.1210010 2.96
Hisanori Takahashi (S,2) 0.2100010 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
Game Information
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