Redding Shuts Down Mets, Houston Wins 6-2

David Cone's last start against the Astros was in 1992 and now he might have wished he kept it that way. The forty-year old left after two innings, due to a sore left hip, and yielded two runs, three walks, and three hits as the Astros hammered the Mets 6-2 at Shea Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Mets lost Jeromy Burnitz for four to six weeks after he was hit in the hand with a Billy Wagner fastball in the ninth inning. He has been, without question, the team's most consistent outfielder this year.

Houston got on the board early in the first, with RBI doubles by newly signed free-agent Jeff Kent and leftfielder Orlando Merced that put the Mets in an early hole that they could never dig themselves out of.

Jae Seo relieved David Cone (1-3) in the third and was able to retire his first two batters, but then surrendered a home run to Richard Hidalgo that put the Mets down 3-0.

The Astros (10-9) added two more runs in the fourth inning, with centerfielder Craig Biggio driving in Jose Vizcaino after hitting a double into the left field gap. Two batters later Jeff Bagwell drilled a double that scored Biggio.

Orlando Merced tacked on the final Astro run in top of the seventh by singling into center field and knocking in Jeff Kent, who was acquired by the Mets in the deal that sent David Cone to Toronto in 1992.

Tim Redding (1-2) stifled the Mets for six innings and allowed just six hits, one run, issued two walks, and fanned six. It was his first win in twelve starts, his last victory coming on May 13, 2002 against Philadelphia.

Houston reliever Brad Lidge then came on to pitch the seventh and eighth, retiring all six batters he faced, fanning four of them. After suffering through injuries to start his career, he is off to a great start, owning a 0.60 ERA.

The Mets (8-12) got their first run across in the bottom of the fourth after Mike Piazza began the inning with a double off the left field wall that was a foot short of being a home run. After Ty Wigginton struck out, Jeromy Burnitz doubled to centerfield that drove him home.

Mike Piazza got his third home run of the year in the ninth. The Mets were able to put the tying run on base in the final inning, but Billy Wagner was able to retire Tsuyoshi Shinjo to end the game.

Notes
Cliff Floyd sat out for the second straight game with an Achilles injury that he believes may need surgery in the off-season... Ty Wigginton has 5 hits in his last 32 at bats... Astros' outfielder Lance Berkman did not play after suffering a sprained ligament in his left elbow five games ago... Jeromy Burnitz was hit with a Billy Wagner fastball in his hand in the ninth, but stayed on to run... It was Cone's first start against Houston since July 11, 1992... Roy Oswalt (2-1, 3.71) opposes Al Leiter (2-0, 2.19) on Wednesday night...


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