(Sports Network) - Lefty Jonathon Niese can make it two straight for the struggling New York Mets tonight when they open a three-game series with the visiting Houston Astros at Citi Field.
The Mets, who started the season with four wins in eight games, proceeded to lose seven in a row before Sunday in Atlanta, when Josh Thole had a pair of run-scoring singles in a 3-2 win over the Braves at Turner Field.
Jose Reyes had a pair of hits and scored twice, while Ike Davis went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI single for the Mets, who won for the first time since defeating Washington on April 9.
Dillon Gee (1-0), filling in for an injured Chris Young, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with biceps tendinitis, gave up one run on five hits with a pair of walks over 5 2/3 effective innings.
The right-hander struck out four. Francisco Rodriguez locked the game down in the ninth despite allowing the leadoff hitter to reach. It was his second save of the season.
Niese, who made 30 starts last season in his first full trip through the majors, has picked up a no-decision and two losses in his initial three outings in 2011.
He lasted seven innings and gave up two runs in the Mets' 6-4 win at Florida on April 2, but has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in 10 innings while losing subsequent verdicts at Philadelphia and home to Colorado on April 7 and 13.
The Ohio native has a win in two career starts against Houston with a 1.29 earned run average in 14 innings.
For the Astros, Venezuelan-born lefty Wandy Rodriguez makes his fourth attempt at a first win of the season. A 14-game winner two seasons ago and winner of 11 games last season, Rodriguez is 0-2 with a no-decision in three 2011 starts while allowing 26 hits and 13 runs in 16 innings.
He was shelled for nine hits and five runs in five innings of his most recent start, a 9-5 loss to the Cubs on April 13.
Rodriguez is 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA in six career starts against New York.
On Sunday in Houston, Will Venable hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth, helping the San Diego Padres take an 8-6 victory over the Astros in the finale of a four-game set.
Bill Hall hit a two-run single for the Astros, who were looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Padres faced a 6-3 deficit after six innings, but began their comeback in the seventh, when Venable reached third on an error by pitcher Fernando Abad and scored on Orlando Hudson's sacrifice fly.
New York won four of its seven matchups with the Astros last season and has won six of the last seven meetings in Flushing.