HOUSTON (AP) - Mets starter R.A. Dickey was unhittable through the first five innings against the Houston Astros.
Things didn't go as well in the sixth inning.
Matt Downs hit a two-run homer off Dickey and Jed Lowrie had the go-ahead single in the eighth inning off reliever Manny Acosta to propel the Houston Astros to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday night.
Dickey gave up three hits and three runs in the sixth before he was replaced by Manny Acosta for the seventh.
``Tonight was the night that I literally threw one pitch that I didn't like, and it got hit out of the park,' Dickey said. ``That normally doesn't happen. One more wiggle to the knuckleball there, and he pops that up or hits it off the end. That is the only pitch I would take back. Everything else I feel like I am in a good place with it.'
Mets manager Terry Collins said Dickey's effort was outstanding on Monday. But Dickey is frustrated about his giving up a National League-high seven home runs this season.
``That's really not his thing,' Collins said referring to the home runs. ``Obviously, he threw the ball really well. He kept us in the game. We just didn't give him anything to work with early.'
The game was tied 3-all when Jordan Schafer reached on an infield single to start the eighth. He stole second with one out and scored on the hit by Lowrie.
Acosta (0-2), who threw a scoreless seventh, said it was no surprise to him that Collins let him go out for a second inning because he felt great.
``We were rolling in the first inning, and the bullpen was a little beat up from the last three days,' Collins said of why he left Acosta in for the eighth.
Schafer finished with two hits and scored two runs. Downs' homer came in Houston's three-run sixth.
The Mets tied it by scoring three times in the seventh, including a two-run single by rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
An RBI single by Andres Torres, activated from the disabled list before the game, got New York within 3-1. Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda walked with two outs to load the bases before Nieuwenhuis' single chased starter Bud Norris.
Wilton Lopez retired Ruben Tejada to end the inning.
The Mets have scored 20 runs with two outs in the past seven games.
``That just tells you to keep playing,' Collins said. ``We play how many outs it takes to win the game, and our guys do that. They grind it out and get themselves ready. They play the way you want the game to be played. They got the big hit tonight. We didn't.'
Fernando Rodriguez (1-3) got the last out of the eighth and Brett Myers pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
David Wright and Ike Davis hit consecutive singles to start the seventh and Wright went to third on a flyout by Mike Baxter.
Norris allowed seven hits and three runs with seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings.
``He was pitching well,' Dickey said. ``He was sharp. I felt like it was going to be a 1-0-type game. I bent before he did. I have no business not going into the eighth or ninth with the stuff I had tonight. It was just unfortunate that I gave up runs and had to come out of the game because I was only at 70 or 80 pitches, and I felt fantastic.'
Schafer got Houston's first hit with a soft single to left field leading off the sixth. He has reached safely in each of Houston's 23 games, tied for the second-longest streak to start a season in franchise history.
Schafer reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve and went to third on a bloop single by Lowrie that dropped in the outfield not far from third base. Schafer had to slide to get there safely.
Houston went ahead 1-0 on Travis Buck's RBI groundout. Downs followed with his second homer.
NOTES: Mets starter Mike Pelfrey will have season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday. ... Duda was out of the starting lineup because of flulike symptoms. Mets manager Terry Collins said he wasn't feeling much better and he doesn't expect him to play Tuesday. ... Houston 1B Carlos Lee sat out for the third straight game with a sprained left ankle.
The Associated Press News Service
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