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Mets Use Longball To Ground Astros

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By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) – David Wright does not like taking days off.

After the way he came through Friday night, the New York Mets
star had to admit an occasional rest is probably a good thing.

Wright homered for the first time since April 24, hitting a
go-ahead shot to cap a four-run eighth inning that rallied the Mets
to a 6-4 victory over the Houston Astros.

It was the sixth home run of the season for the slumping Wright,
given a day off Thursday in Colorado to rest a sore neck and back _
one day after New York’s game against the Rockies was postponed by
inclement weather.

“When you look at the big picture, it’s probably good and it’s
probably beneficial for the long run,” Wright said. “It’s just
that when you get in the heat of the moment you don’t want to take
those days … (but) I think it’s good to kind of recharge the
battery.”

Wright’s two-run shot was the last of three late homers by the
Mets that helped them overcome a 4-0 deficit for their sixth win in
eight games.

New York manager Terry Collins said Friday’s performance
confirmed that he did the right thing by keeping Wright out of the
lineup for the first time all season Thursday.

“It tells me that this guy needs a break every now and then
because he plays the game as hard as anybody in the league,”
Collins said. “And when you run him out there 30-something times
in a row, he is going to run out of gas a little bit.”

Jason Bay got New York going with a solo shot in the seventh and
pinch-hitter Fernando Martinez cut it to 4-3 with a long, two-run
drive in the eighth. Jose Reyes walked and, with two outs, Wright
homered off reliever Jeff Fulchino (0-1) into the Crawford Boxes in
left field to put New York on top.

Jason Pridie added an insurance run with an RBI double in the
ninth.

Carlos Lee and Chris Johnson had two hits apiece and each drove
in a run for the Astros.

Houston had runners at the corners with two outs in the eighth,
but Francisco Rodriguez struck out pinch-hitter Jason Michaels to
end the inning.

Rodriguez finished in the ninth for his 11th save.
Mets starter Dillon Gee allowed five hits, four runs and matched
a career high by walking four in five-plus innings. Gee, who grew
up in Cleburne, Texas, struck out a career-high six in front of a
crowd that included his parents and other relatives and friends.

Collins thinks Gee might have let the big group get to him.

“He’s got a huge amount of people here and I know he was all
amped up, so I’m going to cut him a little slack and hopefully he
gets ready for his next start,” the manager said.

Gee wasn’t sure that was the problem.
“I don’t think that was really the issue tonight,” he said.

“I have just kind of felt bad the last two starts I’ve had.
Walking four or five guys and hitting guys is never going to get it
done.”

Pat Misch (1-0) got the win by throwing 1 2-3 hitless innings.

Houston starter Bud Norris was spotless until the seventh. He
gave up five hits and four runs with eight strikeouts in 7 1-3
innings.

“He definitely deserved a little better fate with the way
things (happened),” Houston manager Brad Mills said. “We left a
lot of guys on.”

Lee started the Houston sixth with a single before Gee plunked
Brett Wallace. Then came Johnson’s double to the corner in left
field that scored Lee to push the score to 2-0 and chase Gee. Bill
Hall followed with a run-scoring single off Ryota Igarashi.

Humberto Quintero reached on an error by first baseman Daniel
Murphy that allowed Johnson to score and make it 4-0.

Norris grounded out after the error and New York finally got out
of that inning by turning a double play.
Norris had retired nine straight, striking out five, before Bay’s long home run to left with two outs in the seventh.
“We had a good little lead there. I could have put them away
earlier, and that inning kind of hurt me,” Norris said of the
eighth. “I’m (upset) that I let this one get away.”
Martinez, recalled from the minors Thursday when first baseman
Ike Davis went on the 15-day disabled list, hit his second major
league homer in the eighth.

An oft-injured outfield prospect, Martinez hit his other big
league long ball in 2009.

“He’s got all the skills it takes to be a star, but you’ve got
to keep him in the lineup,” Collins said. “He knows and will be
the first to tell you that you’ve got to stay healthy.”
Gee’s balk led to a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Lee in the
third.
NOTES: Michaels (left shoulder) was activated from the disabled
list before the game. … A fan ran across the field and away from
security guards and police officers and climbed the wall in center
field to leave the field in the ninth inning.

    Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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