R.A. Dickey tossed seven innings of one-run ball and added an RBI single to lead the New York Mets past the Houston Astros, 3-1, in the middle test of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Dickey (16-4) scattered five hits and a walk after retiring the first 10 batters he faced. Frank Francisco worked a perfect ninth to record his 21st save of the season.
Justin Turner homered for New York, which scored more than two runs for the first time in eight games to snap a season-high tying six-game losing streak.
Fernando Abad (0-1) allowed one run on four hits and four walks over four innings in his first major league start for the Astros, who have dropped eight of their last nine.
"My whole family was here," Abad said. "I wanted to throw five innings and get a win, but that's part of the game."
After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning and stranding a runner on second in the third, the Mets were able to break through in the fourth when Ronny Cedeno hit a leadoff single, moved to second on Jason Bay's walk, advanced to third on a double-play grounder to short by Josh Thole and came home on Dickey's infield single.
On the play, Abad and catcher Jason Castro ran into each other while trying to field the dribbler to the right side of the infield, allowing Dickey to reach first and Cedeno to cross the plate.
The Astros threatened in the fifth inning by loading the bases with one out on three straight singles by Castro, Brandon Barnes and Brian Bogusevic, but pinch-hitter Steve Pearce followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play to keep it a 1-0 game.
New York then added to its lead in the sixth inning with Turner's leadoff blast over the left-field wall.
"I've been struggling with balls on the inner half all season long, so it felt nice to finally get the barrel out and square one up," Turner said about his home run.
Houston was able to get on the board in the seventh inning when Scott Moore was hit by a pitch to start the frame, advanced to third on a Tyler Greene single and raced home on a wild pitch.
Greene moved to second on the play, but following Barnes' one-out walk, Bogusevic put an end to the rally by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play.
Scott Hairston singled and later scored on Bay's base hit to right field in the eighth to give the Mets a 3-1 advantage.
Abad had made 81 relief appearances in his career prior to Saturday's start ... Turner's home run was his first of the season and his first since he hit two against the Braves on Aug. 6, 2011 ... Dickey improved to 8-1 in 14 starts at Citi Field this season ... Houston leads the season series, 4-1 ... The last time the Mets were held to two or fewer runs in seven straight games was from Sept. 17-21, 1982.