ASTROS DEFEAT METS

Bregman delivers big hit in 8th as surging Astros rally from 5 down to beat Mets

Bregman delivers big hit in 8th as surging Astros rally from 5 down to beat Mets
Astros defeat the Mets, 9-6. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images.

Alex Bregman put Houston ahead with a two-run single in the eighth inning, and the surging Astros rallied from five runs down to beat the New York Mets 9-6 on Saturday.

Jake Meyers homered early and Jeremy Peña began the comeback with a two-run double off Mets starter Tylor Megill in a three-run fourth. After its seven-game win streak was snapped Friday night in the series opener, Houston (41-41) won for the 11th time in 15 games.

New York still led 6-4 in the eighth, but a taxed and injury-tattered bullpen minus suspended closer Edwin Díaz couldn't hold on. Mark Vientos homered for the Mets (40-40), who had won four straight and 16 of 20.

Jake Diekman and Reed Garrett (7-3) combined to walk four Houston hitters in the eighth. Garrett threw a run-scoring wild pitch with two outs, then gave up Bregman's go-ahead single on a full-count pitch.

Mauricio Dubón added a two-run double off Danny Young with two outs in the ninth.

Seth Martinez (3-2) pitched a perfect seventh for the win after starter Framber Valdez, hurt by shoddy defense, permitted six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Ryan Pressly worked a scoreless eighth and Josh Hader got three quick outs for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Pete Alonso's two-run single capped a five-run second, when the Mets took advantage of Valdez's error and two other defensive miscues to open a 5-1 lead.

Vientos lined a 429-foot solo homer to center field in the third. Singing sensation Jose Iglesias had three hits for the Mets — two doubles and an RBI infield single.

New York has homered in 12 straight games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss (shoulder discomfort) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Sunday. If it goes well, he might be a candidate to rejoin the rotation after he's eligible to come off the injured list July 7. Bloss got hurt in his major league debut June 21. ... RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) is feeling better and could play catch this week, manager Joe Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (Tommy John surgery) woke up feeling good and is expected to make his next rehab start at a different affiliate. Garcia threw 12 pitches in a perfect inning during his first rehab outing Friday in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Luis Severino (5-2, 3.29 ERA) pitches the series finale Sunday. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA against the Astros and hasn't beaten them since May 2018 with the Yankees. Houston had not announced a starter and could go with a bullpen game.

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The Astros are back in action Friday night against Seattle. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros were a season low 12 games under .500 (12-24) on May 8th but were able to turn things around and entered the All-Star break with a respectable 50-46 record.

The turnaround can be attributed to better performances on the field by a multitude of players, but there are still things that could be improved to ensure a successful second half of the season.

As it currently stands, Houston is only one game behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West division race, and the Astros should have key players returning from injury to further bolster their playoff ambitions.

The return of the King

Kyle Tucker has been on the injured list with a shin contusion for six weeks now, and looks to return in the near future.

The Astros have done surprisingly well without their three-time All-Star outfielder thanks to contributions from guys like Joey Loperfido, Jake Meyers and Marcio Dubon in the outfield. Plus, Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yanier Diaz and Jeremy Pena carrying the offense while King Tuck is away.

Before getting hurt, the 27-year-old was hitting .266/.395/.584 through 60 games. Houston already has one of the best offenses in baseball, and adding Tucker back would give the Astros another high-quality bat to further bolster their lineup.

The latest update is Tucker has been playing catch and could start a rehab assignment soon if all goes well.

Fix the rotation

Starting pitching has been a major issue this season due to a multitude of injuries.

Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy and J.P. France have all been lost for the year with various surgeries and guys like Justin Verlander and Luis Garcia are trying to work their way back from their injured list stints.

Garcia was recently pulled from his rehab assignment and won’t pitch again until he is ready. Meanwhile, Verlander could be closer to his return and is throwing bullpen sessions as of July 14. Getting both of these pitchers back at some point this season will be a huge boost to this roster.

The current Astros’ rotation consists of Framber Valdez, Ronel Blanco, Hunter Brown, Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss. Although not a bad rotation by any means, the starting pitching depth is getting pretty thin and Houston can ill afford another injury to their staff.

Astros general manager Dana Brown has been vocal about his desire to add starting pitching, and could have some options heading into the trade deadline. Players like Jack Flaherty, Garrett Crochet or Yusei Kikuchi, just to name a few, could be low risk high reward pitchers the Astros could acquire to add depth to their rotation.

Another option would be to call up A.J. Blubaugh from Sugar Land. The 24-year-old has a 6-2 record with a 3.46 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched this season for the Space Cowboys and could be a necessary depth piece to add to the rotation.

Play Astros baseball

The Astros have been playing better baseball as of late and have won 18 of their last 23 games. With players like Kyle Tucker and Justin Verlander potentially returning soon, there is reason to believe Houston can make the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season.

The 'Stros will try to take sole possession of first place in their division from the Mariners when the two teams meet for three games at T-Mobile Park starting on Friday night.

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