NEW YORK – Mike Pelfrey allowed six hits in eight dominant innings and the New York 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.
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 Hector Blanco just up the third base line. Sanchez was caught in a rundown. It was Francoeur's NL-leading 10th assist.
NOTES: Defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters threw out the ceremonial first pitch, from the top of the mound. ... The Mets purchased the contract of infielder Luis Hernandez from Triple-A Buffalo to provide some infield depth while Reyes sits. To make room for him New York sent outfielder Jesus Feliciano to Buffalo. ... Astros reliever Matt Lindstrom (lower back strain) and INF Jeff Keppinger (left big toe) should both be ready to return from the disabled list next week. ... The Mets introduced their No. 1 pick in the June draft, RHP Matt Harvey. The seventh overall selection out of University of North Carolina will begin his career in the Instructional League.