NEW YORK (AP) – Mike Pelfrey allowed six hits in eight dominant innings and the Mets took advantage of the wildness of former teammate Nelson Figueroa to end the Houston Astros’ five-game winning streak, 2-1 on Friday night.
Pelfrey (13-7) pitched at least seven innings for the fourth straight start, shutting down an Astros squad that was coming off a four-game sweep of the Phillies in Philadelphia. He threw a career-high 124 pitches.
The 26-year-old right-hander matched his career high for wins, striking out four and walking two. He was 13-11 in 2008, his first full season in the rotation.
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur threw out a runner trying to score on a single in the fourth inning and Hisanori Takahashi relieved Bobby Parnell with runners on first and third and one out and earned his second save.
After giving up a run-scoring single to pinch-hitter Jason Michaels, Takahashi got Angel Sanchez to pop out to shortstop and st ruck out pinch-hitter Tommy Manzella to end it.
Facing the club that drafted him, rescued him in 2008 from a four-year international exile and ultimately cut him in April, Figueroa (3-2) was hurt by a lack of control. He only gave up three hits in seven innings, but made several poor throws that led to the Mets’ two runs.
Luis Castillo, back in a starting role because Jose Reyes aggravated a right oblique injury Thursday night, singled. Figueroa’s pickoff attempt to first base was off its mark and Castillo moved up a base. He then raced to third on a wild pitch.
David Wright followed with a sacrifice fly, a popup to shallow center field that second baseman Anderson Hernandez lunged at for an over-the-shoulder catch before making a weak throw up the third base line.
In the fourth, Figueroa walked two and gave up a single to Francoeur to load the bases. With Ruben Tejada up – coming in, he was 1 for 36 since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug. 7 – Figueroa threw ball four on a full-count pitch to make it 2-0.
Figueroa walked five and hit a batter in his third start for the Astros.
Francoeur’s single in the fourth came after he saved a run with a strong throw in the top half. With Chris Johnson in second base with a double, Sanchez looped a two-out single to right and Francoeur, coming in, scooped the ball up and unleashed a relay home that was caught by Henry Blanco just up the third base line. Sanchez was caught in a rundown. It was Francoeur’s NL-leading 10th assist.