(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros will try to win the season series from the New York Mets this afternoon when the two teams play the rubber match of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
Houston took two of three from the Mets in April, but New York answered with a stunning come-from-behind win in Friday's opener of this series. The Astros responded on Saturday, though, as Carlos Lee recorded the 2,000th hit of his career in the first inning and added a solo home run later in the game to help Houston take a 7-3 win.
"Anytime you accomplish something, it's always better when you win. You can celebrate and you can have fun. It's a lot easier," said Lee about his milestone.
Bill Hall added a solo home run and two RBI while Matt Downs also hit a solo home run for the Astros, who won for only the second time in their last seven games. J.A. Happ (3-4) went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts to get the win.
Jose Reyes had an RBI and a run scored, Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run and Justin Turner drove in the other run for the Mets, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. R.A. Dickey (1-5) was tagged for six runs on 11 hits in just 5 1/3 innings for the loss.
Houston will pin its hopes today on 23-year-old righty Aneury Rodriguez, who will be making his third big league start. After getting a no-decision despite five scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Cincinnati in his first start, Rodriguez was shelled by the Reds on Monday for five runs in five innings and got the loss.
"They weren't letting him get ahead," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "That was one of the biggest things last week was that he was getting ahead. They made a comment that he was [effectively wild in his last start] there and he was able to get himself back in the count with some pretty good pitches. That was probably the biggest thing. There were some pitches that kind of leaked back over the plate on him tonight that they were able to get the barrel of the bat on."
Rodriguez gave up three unearned runs in a two-inning relief stint against the Mets earlier in the year.
Getting the call for the Mets this afternoon will be lefty Chris Capuano, who has lost his last three starts. Capuano, though, has been the victim of poor run support his last two outings, as the Mets have produced just one run for him.
Capuano's latest setback came on Monday in Colorado, as he allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings, dropping him to 2-4 on the year to go along with a 4.93 ERA. Capuano didn't help his cause any at the plate, striking out three times, including once with the bases loaded.
"We work on that stuff," Capuano said. "As a pitching staff, we don't want to be an automatic out up there. When we've got runners on base with a chance to help ourselves, we should at least be able to put the ball in play."
Capuano's last win came against the Astros back on April 21 and he is 5-4 lifetime against them with a 3.32 ERA in 13 games (10 starts).
Houston took two of three when these teams met at Citi Field in late April.