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Astros Play Host Against Last-Place Mets

(Sports Network) - Carlos Beltran tries to follow up one of the best days of his career this evening when the New York Mets play the first of three games against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Beltran hit three two-run home runs to help New York take a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in the rubber match of a three-game series at Coors Field.

"Being able to do something like this, I feel like a little kid," said Beltran. "Honestly. I never smile a lot, but I was smiling."

Beltran became the eighth Met in club history to have a three-homer game, hitting them from both sides of the plate to help the Mets win for a fifth time in the past seven games.

"What a day he had," said Willie Harris, who was on base for each of Beltran's homers in the first, seventh and ninth innings.

Jose Reyes hit a two-run single while Jon Niese (2-4) got the win as he was charged with five runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Dillon Gee gets the call tonight in place of the injured Chris Young, who is likely done for the season with a shoulder injury. Gee started on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitched well, but did not get a decision, as he allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 frames.

Gee, who has won two of his three starts this season, has never faced the Astros.

Houston, meanwhile, will be trying to make it two wins in a row tonight after salvaging the finale of its three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Hunter Pence doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Astros to a 4-3 victory.

J.R. Towles drew a one-out walk off Cincinnati's Mike Leake (3-2) and Pence followed by lining a double into the right-field corner. Pence enters tonight's tilt with a 15-game hitting streak.

Michael Bourn hit a two-run single for the Astros, who snapped their losing streak at four games. Mark Melancon (3-1) earned the win after recording three groundouts in the top of the ninth.

Hoping to keep the momentum rolling for Houston tonight will be right-hander Bud Norris, who is 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Norris was charged with the loss on Saturday in Pittsburgh, as he allowed three runs and seven hits and struck out nine in seven innings. He has fanned 20 batters in his last two starts.

Norris did not get a decision against the Mets back on April 20 and is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three starts against them.

Houston took two of three when these teams met at Citi Field in late April.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.