HOUSTON (AP) — At the end of Mets spring training, Justin Turner was sent to the minor leagues and told to be ready in case he was needed in New York.
As manager Terry Collins put it: “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Now he knows.
Turner homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Jason Pridie hit a go-ahead single and stole home to help the New York Mets beat the Houston Astros 7-4 Sunday.
“He loves to play and here’s his chance,” Collins said. “You spend a few years in the minor leagues and you’ve been able to play for a while and you say ‘If I just had a chance, if I just had a chance.’
“Well, here’s his opportunity and he’s making the most of it.”
Turner hit a tying, two-run double in the Mets’ four-run fifth inning, and later scored the go-ahead run. Turner tacked on a three-run homer in the sixth and the Mets won for the seventh time in 10 games.
“Any time you drive in some runs you feel pretty good,” Turner said. “It makes it nicer to get an at bat every day and get comfortable and make adjustments from at bat to at bat as opposed to from day to three days.”
Chris Capuano (3-4) allowed six hits and two runs in five innings. He struck out six and pitched while developing a hot spot on his left hand.
Aneury Rodriguez (0-2) didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, but finished with five earned runs and four walks in his third major league start.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th straight save. He has not allowed a run in 14 appearances since April 14.
Rodriguez walked Josh Thole with one out in the first, then was perfect until Jason Bay reached when his popup to the pitcher’s mound fell in because first baseman Carlos Lee tried to make a play on it even though third baseman Chris Johnson appeared to be calling for it. Daniel Murphy singled before Turner’s double, and Pridie hit a go-ahead single after that.
“I had that ball,” Lee said. “I just kind of didn’t know where I was and as I ran (onto) the mound I lost my footing, so the ball kind of moved on me. C.J. had that ball, so I should’ve have let him have it.”
Lee was charged with an error. Jose Reyes followed Capuano’s bunt with a walk and, one batter later, stole second while David Wright was batting, allowing Pridie to steal home and make it 4-2.
“Through the first four innings I was keeping my pitches low and all my pitches were working and I was locating the ball well,” Rodriguez said. “Then came the fifth inning and I lost my concentration.”
Turner’s homer put the game out of reach in the sixth, but Houston added Clint Barmes’ solo homer against Taylor Buchholz in the bottom half and Matt Downs’ double in the eighth against Jason Isringhausen.
The Astros scored in the second on Chris Johnson’s single. Jason Michaels doubled in the bottom of the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
Lee, who got his 2,000th hit on Saturday extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double in the fifth.
Notes: Mets OF Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup after sitting out Saturday’s game with a swollen right eye. “I woke up this morning and I could see clear. I came to the ballpark and went to the cage to make sure I saw the ball good.” … Jason Bay is averaging one home run per 10.3 at-bats at Minute Maid Park. Sammy Sosa is the only player with a better average with one homer per 9.9 at-bats. Michael Bourn was 14 for 14 in stolen bases until he was caught stealing second base in the first inning.