Billy Wagner blew a save and Aaron Heilman hung Pedro Feliciano out to dry with first and third with no outs in the tenth Saturday night as the Houston Astros came from behind to beat the New York Mets 5-4.
The Mets had a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth inning, but Wagner gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. Pinch hitter Geoff Blum singled to left, but Mark Loretta started heading back to third as if the ball was going to be caught. By the time Loretta switched directions, Hunter Pence was just a split second behind him.
Mets catcher Ramon Castro caught Fernando Tatis’ throw as Loretta and Pence barreled into him for the runs. Castro wound up leaving the game with an injury.
After Feliciano replaced Heilman, Feliciano got a strikeout and yielded an intentional walk before Erstad hit a fly ball to left. Tatis made a nice play, but the run scored and the game ended.
In the eighth, Scott Schowenweis gave up a home run Kazuo Matsui, continuing the Mets bullpen’s inability to consistently put games away for Mets starter Johan Santana, who pitched well enough for his 10th win of the season.
Santana went 6 1/3 innings, giving up just three hits, two walks, a pair of hit batsmen and one earned run while striking out three. He lost his no-hitter in the fourth inning when Matsui led off the inning with a triple, bringing the NoNoHitters.com count up to 7,430 Mets games without a no-hitter.
Damion Easley hit a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado each drove in runs.
Daniel Murphy made his Mets debut after playing just a single game for New Orleans at the AAA level. A natural third baseman, Murphy made a great leaping catch in left field and threw a strike to second to double up Hunter Pence in the bottom of the seventh. He also recorded his first Major League hit and scored a run.
Murphy took the roster spot of Marlon Anderson, who was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.