|Kyle Tucker after crossing the plate on his three-run homer in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Houston Astros beat the Mets twice last week down south, and they kept it going on Tuesday night, as they scored early and often on their way to a 9-1 win.
The Mets fell to 47-28, and they saw their National League East lead cut to four games as the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3, to improve to 43-32.
Carlos Carrasco had his second tough outing against Houston in a week, as he lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. His record is now 8-4 and his ERA (earned run average) jumped to 4.85.
Houston got on the board in the first inning when Alex Bregman got an RBI single, and then Kyle Tucker followed with a three-run home run, his 15th of the year, to make it 4-0.
In the fourth, Tucker drew a walk and scored on a single by Jake Meyers to make it 5-0.
The Mets finally got a chance against Houston's starter Framber Valdez in the fourth inning when Starling Marte opened the inning with a double, then Francisco Lindor walked. Pete Alonso then grounded out, then J.D. Davis struck out, but Eduardo Escobar kept the inning going as he walked to load the bases. Mark Canha grounded into a force out to end the chance.
In the fifth, Carrasco allowed a one-out walk to Jeremy Pena, and that was it for the right-hander.
Left-hander Chasen Shreve came in to face Yordan Alvarez, and he crushed one to center field for a two-run homer, his 23rd of the year, to make it 7-0. Bregman followed with a single, and he came in on a two-run blast by Yuri Gurriel to open up a 9-0 lead for the Astros.
Valdez threw eight shutout innings, allowing no runs on six hits and two walks, with five strikeouts, to improve to 8-3 and lower his ERA to 2.65.
This comes after he had a good outing against the Yankees last Thursday, in which he allowed three runs (all earned) on two hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts, and he ended with a no-decision as the Yankees came back to win it late, 7-6.