New York Mets
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey continues to struggle to rediscover the 2010 success that prompted the Mets to award him a two-year, $7.8 million contract.
Dickey surrendered six runs, matching a season high, as the Mets lost to the Astros, 7-3, on Saturday. The knuckleballer was chased with one out in the sixth, after Bill Hall and pinch-hitter Matt Downs had solo homers in the inning. Dickey had surrendered four first-inning runs as six of Houston’s first seven batters produced hits.
The 11 hits allowed by Dickey matched his career high, which he also surrendered May 13, 2004, with Texas against Tampa Bay. Dickey is winless in seven starts since April 3, his first start of the season.
IT'S A HIT: Carlos Lee notched the 2,000th hit of his career in the first inning off Dickey. There are 17 active players who have achieved that milestone. Among current Mets, Johan Santana has surrendered the most hits to Lee (14).
Lee's 2,001st hit, a solo homer on the first pitch of Ryota Igarashi's relief appearance, gave Houston a 7-2 lead in the seventh.
TURNER CLASSIC: With the Mets only trailing 4-2 in the fifth, second baseman Justin Turner had a highlight-reel defensive play to keep the deficit from worsening. Turner dove to his right to field Chris Johnson's hard grounder and threw to first for the inning's final out, preventing Brett Wallace from scoring.
Turner, who is getting everyday playing time at second base with Daniel Murphy moving to first base in Ike Davis' absence, had driven in the Mets' opening run with a single in the third that scored Jose Reyes. Murphy homered an inning later for the other run.
Bench coach Ken Oberkfell, formerly the manager at Triple-A Buffalo, had lobbied for Turner to make the team out of spring training.
ALL RIGHT: With Carlos Beltran scratched with right eye swelling, Fernando Martinez made his first major league start this season. Martinez, who homered the previous day as a pinch-hitter, doubled while going 1-for-4.
SEEING DOUBLE: Reyes, who entered the day tied for second in the National League in doubles, one behind Beltran, produced his 13th two-bagger.
K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear. He has finished 14 of the Mets' 39 games. K-Rod needs to finish 41 of the team's remaining 123 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. He is on pace for 58 games finished, three over the threshold for the contract clause to take effect.
WHAT'S NEXT: Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.93 ERA) opposes right-hander Aneury Rodriguez (0-1, 5.50) in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. ET rubber game as the Mets attempt to win their third straight series. Rodriguez has made two starts since succeeding ex-Met Nelson Figueroa in Houston's rotation.