AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Astros were happy to get a series win
for the first time since the opening three games of the season on
Tuesday night.

They weren’t quite ready to celebrate it though, with one more
game left in the three-game set with the New York Mets.

“I don’t think we can look at it that way now,” Houston’s Jed
Lowrie said of winning the series. “Tomorrow is the most important
game we have to play. It’s nice to get these two, but it’s going to
be more important to get the one tomorrow.”

Chris Snyder hit a three-run home run and Lowrie had a two-run
shot to give the Astros a 6-3 win over the Mets.

Lowrie’s homer, off Jonathon Niese, which hit the inside of the
foul pole in left field in the first inning, got things going for
the Astros, who got a 4-3 win to open the series on Monday. The
Astros had lost six consecutive series entering this set with the

Snyder pushed the lead to 5-0 in the next inning with his first
home run of the season, which landed in the Crawford Boxes in left
field. Brian Bogusevic and Justin Maxwell hit consecutive singles
to start that inning and set up Snyder’s shot.

The Astros still rank in the bottom third of the league in home
runs this season with 16 despite the two on Tuesday. Still, Snyder
said it’s too early to write off Houston as not having much power.

“I wouldn’t look too deep into it. It’s kind of a great
hitters’ park,” he said. “We’ve got some guys that can leave it.
It’s not one of those things where you should expect to not see
power from this team. We’ll get into the groove and you’ll start
seeing the ball leave.”

Niese (2-1) allowed a season-high five runs and six hits in
three innings. It was his shortest start since lasting just 2 2-3
innings on Sept. 29, 2010.

Niese entered the game 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA this season and was
1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career starts against Houston.

He was disappointed to be pulled from the game so early.

“Obviously, the competitiveness in me wanted to stay in the
game,” he said. “I had put up a zero, and I felt my stuff was
good enough to keep the team in the game.”

Houston starter J.A. Happ (2-1) allowed six hits and three runs
with seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings, which was his longest
outing of the year.

Relievers Wilton Lopez and Wesley Wright combined to allow one
hit in 1 2-3 innings before Brett Myers threw a perfect ninth for
his sixth save.

Reliever Miguel Bautista walked Maxwell in the sixth inning, but
Snyder grounded into a double play. Happ singled before Bautista
walked Jose Altuve. He was replaced by Ramon Ramirez, who walked

His bases-loaded walk of J.D. Martinez gave Houston an insurance
run and made it 6-3. The Mets finally got out of that inning on a
fly out by Carlos Lee.

The Mets issued eight walks on Tuesday, including three to

“You just can’t put people on and expect to win major league
baseball games, especially when you are walking in runs,” Mets
manager Terry Collins said. “It’s going to come back to burn

Justin Turner walked with two outs in the fifth inning and
scored after consecutive singles by David Wright and Scott Hairston
to cut Houston’s lead to 5-3. Happ got out of that inning by
striking out Ike Davis after a short coaching visit to the mound.

Happ allowed just one hit _ a single by Davis in the second _
through the first three innings.

Turner doubled to start the fourth inning and Hairston walked
with one out. A two-out single by Andres Torres scored Turner to
make it 5-1. Josh Thole followed with a RBI single to center field
to get New York within 5-2.

Happ struck out pinch-hitter Lucas Duda to limit the damage.
NOTES: The Astros placed reliever Rhiner Cruz on the 15-day
disabled list with a right ankle sprain and recalled RHP Enerio Del
Rosario from Triple-A Oklahoma City after the game. … Mets
starter Mike Pelfrey had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his
right elbow on Tuesday. The team said the surgery, done by Dr.
James Andrews, went well. … Houston starter Kyle Weiland had
arthroscopic surgery for an infection in his right shoulder on
Tuesday. Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said he isn’t sure how
long Weiland, who has been on the disabled list since Friday, will
be out. … Mets catcher Mike Nickeas stayed at the team hotel on
Tuesday with the flu. The Mets haven’t decided whether they will
call up another player to fill in while he’s out. … Duda was out
of the starting lineup for the second game because of flulike
symptoms, but pinch-hit in the fourth inning. … Houston CF Jordan
Schafer got a day off after experiencing soreness in his left side.
Manager Brad Mills doesn’t think the problem is serious and expects
him to be back in the lineup Wednesday. … The series wraps up on
Wednesday when Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez faces Chris

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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