Astros complete sweep of Mets

August 3, 2008 2:06:18 PM PDT
Ty Wigginton homered and the Houston Astros beat New York 4-0 on Sunday to complete their first three-game sweep of the Mets since September 1993. Hunter Pence and Humberto Quintero added RBI doubles and Randy Wolf (7-10) won his home debut for the Astros, who've won six of their last seven games.

Jose Valverde shut out the Mets in the ninth. Houston's bullpen did not allow a run in 11 innings in the series.

New York has dropped four in a row and was shut out for the fourth time this season. And the dismal offensive performance was only part of the bad news.

Closer Billy Wagner was unavailable with a strained left forearm and was due to have an MRI exam in New York on Tuesday. The Mets also placed right-hander John Maine on the disabled list to further rest his sore right shoulder.

Oliver Perez (7-7) took Maine's place in the rotation on Sunday and lost for only the second time in seven starts.

Wigginton gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the second, his 10th. The Astros have homered in eight consecutive games, a season high.

The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and fifth and came away with nothing. They also squandered a no-outs, bases-loaded chance in Friday's 7-3 loss.

The Astros stranded only four runners in the game and scored three runs in the fourth, all with two outs.

Back-to-back doubles by Wigginton and Pence made it 2-0 and Pence scored on Darin Erstad's bloop single to left. Quintero then doubled down the left-field line and Erstad raced home for a 4-0 lead.

After hitting .304 in July, the Mets mustered only seven runs in three games in Houston. They stranded eight runners in the first five innings on Sunday.

Chris Sampson relieved Wolf for the sixth and set down the Mets in order, all on ground balls. Wolf, acquired in a July 22 trade with San Diego, threw 96 pitches, allowing six hits with seven strikeouts.

Eddie Kunz, whose contract was puchased before the game, made his major league debut in the seventh, taking over for Perez.

Erstad led off by beating out a bunt. Quintero laid down a sacrifice bunt and Kunz fielded it, but his throw to first sailed over Carlos Delgado's head, the Mets' first error in 12 games.

Delgado recovered in time to throw out Erstad at third.

The Mets had runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth, but Damion Easley rolled into a double play against Doug Brocail. Nick Evans grounded out to end the inning.

Valverde walked Daniel Murphy with one out in the ninth, but retired Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran on flyouts.