<
>

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Astros 1

NEW YORK -- So there was still a little excitement left in the 2014 season for the Mets.

A few hits, too.

The Mets, held to two hits over the first eight innings and about to lose to the Houston Astros for the second straight night, rallied for two runs in the ninth inning for a 2-1 win Saturday night at Citi Field.

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run off Astros left-hander Tony Sipp to give the Mets the win. It was Duda's 29th home run of the season.

Eric Young Jr. gave the Mets a baserunner in the ninth with his one-out triple. Daniel Murphy's fly ball was too shallow to score Young, but Duda ripped a Sipp pitch off the right-field foul pole to give the Mets the walk-off win.

It was Duda's third career walkoff hit.

The Mets now take a 78-83 record into Sunday's season finale, and they still could finish as high as second place in the National League East.

Montero's season: At one point this season, Rafael Montero seemed ready to push himself up the list of Mets pitching prospects. The Mets even chose to put Montero into the rotation ahead of Jacob deGrom in May. Now deGrom is a given for the 2015 rotation, while Montero will be a long-shot candidate in the spring.

Montero started in deGrom's place Saturday night, and the results weren't bad. He shut out the Astros for the first five innings, before giving up a sixth-inning run on Dexter Fowler's infield single and Jason Castro's double.

Montero pitched in 10 big-league games this season, eight of them starts. His ERA as a starter was 3.98.

One more thing to remember about Montero: He won't turn 24 until next month.

Familia again: Jeurys Familia may well have finished his fantastic rookie season with an inning Saturday, but you have to wonder whether all the appearances this year will have a lasting effect. Familia has pitched in 75 games, just two off the National League lead and the second most ever by a Mets rookie (Joe Smith appeared in 82 games in 2008).

Familia, who retired the Astros in order in the eighth, has a 2.24 ERA and allowed just 59 hits in 76 2/3 innings.

No offense, but: The Mets' only hit in four innings against Astros starter Samuel Deduno was Ruben Tejada's infield single in the second inning. And even that didn't end well.

Tejada's ground ball was smothered by Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, and with two out and Montero due up, third-base coach Tim Teufel decided to try to score Wilmer Flores from second base. Gonzalez got up and threw Flores out at the plate to end the inning.

The Astros claimed Deduno on waivers from the Twins in August. His claim to fame is that he was the winning pitcher for the Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic championship game.

What's next: The Mets' final game of 2014 is Sunday afternoon against the Astros. Bartolo Colon (14-13, 4.08) is the Mets' starter. Right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.78), who grew up in West Islip, New York, and pitched at Stony Brook University, starts for the Astros. It will also be the final game of Bobby Abreu's big-league career.