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Mets Miss Opportunities In Loss To Astros

Chris Carter

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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(AP) Carlos Lee homered off Johan Santana, Brett Myers set a team record and the Houston Astros won for the first time at Citi Field by beating the New York Mets 4-1 Saturday night.

Lee also hit an RBI single in the first inning, when the Astros, who have won six of seven, got to Santana (10-9) early with two runs. The Mets ace has an ERA of 8.04 in the first inning this season.

Myers (10-7) gave up six hits and a walk in seven innings. He faced exactly four batters in every inning and never allowed a runner past second.

Myers has pitched at least six innings in all of his 27 starts this season. Larry Dierker had the previous Astros record of 26 in 1969-70.

Brandon Lyon pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth straight save.

The way the Mets have been supporting Santana, the ace was essentially finished before Lee’s hard liner to left went out to make it 4-0. He’s only won once when allowing more than a run. In the 15 starts in which he’s allowed one or no runs, he’s won nine and gotten six no decisions. Santana gave up four runs and won June 15 at Cleveland.

On Saturday night, Santana gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Tommy Manzella hit an RBI single to third in the first inning with the hit-and-run on to make it 2-0.

The Mets sent the tying run to the plate in the eighth against Wilton Lopez, when David Wright hit a one-out RBI single and Ike Davis singled behind him. Jeff Francoeur struck out and Josh Thole’s sinking liner to left looked good, but Jason Bourgeois made a diving catch that bailed out Tim Byrdak for the last out.

The Mets had hits in each of the first five innings, but never came close to scoring.

One-out doubles by Francoeur in the second and Ike Davis in the fourth were both followed by two quick outs. In between, Luis Castillo singled, took second when right fielder Hunter Pence bobbled the ball, and stayed there while Carlos Beltran grounded out.

Santana bunted Ruben Tejada over to second after he singled to lead off the fifth, but two more quick outs ended that inning. Ike Davis’ two-out walk in the sixth went nowhere, too, when Francoeur was caught looking at strike three.

Angel Pagan went down looking in the seventh with pinch-hitter Mike Hessman on first, one pitch after a grounder down the line was ruled just foul.

Notes: Houston was swept at Citi Field last year and lost the series opener 2-1 Friday night. … Astros closer Matt Lindstrom still has a stiff back and his scheduled bullpen session was pushed back. Astros manager Brad Mills said Lindstrom will be evaluated daily to see if he’s ready to throw. … Houston INF Jeff Keppinger (left big toe) is expected to play a rehab game at Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday. INF Geoff Blum rejoined the Astros after missing three days with neck discomfort. He pinch hit in the eighth. … Mets SS Jose Reyes was out of the lineup for the second night in a row because of the right oblique strain he aggravated on Thursday. He did not take batting practice. … Air traffic control was landing planes on Runway 31 at LaGuardia Airport, keeping Citi Field free of the usual roar of jets taking off overhead. Instead, planes could be seen banking to land behind the outfield scoreboard. … Myers is the 13th pitcher to go at least six innings in his first 27 starts since 1920. Curt Schilling was the last to do it, with six or more innings in his first 35 starts.

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