Lately, it's been easy for Red Sox fans to feel bad for themselves. Then, they think about what it would be like to root for the Mets, and they reconsider.
New York continued its dreadful second half with a 5-4 loss to Houston on Friday night, its sixth loss in eight games since the All-Star break. Ace Johan Santana was on the wrong end of this one, surrendering all five runs in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed a whopping 12 hits and struck out three as he fell to 11-8.
Mike Hampton wasn't perfect, but he was good enough to win against the reeling Mets — and he provided some run support for himself with a fourth-inning homer. He submitted 5 2/3 innings and allowed eight hits, four runs, and struck out seven while walking four.
The Astros bullpen allowed five hits over the final 3 1/3 innings, but New York — which stranded 10 runners — couldn't capitalize. Jose Valverde earned his 11th save of the season for Houston after hurling a perfect ninth.
New York's bullpen held Houston hitless over the final two innings.
The Mets got on the board in the first when David Wright sent an RBI single to left, but the Astros promptly tied the game in the bottom of the frame on a Carlos Lee single.
Hampton's two-run shot broke the 1-1 deadlock in the bottom of the fourth, but the Mets tied things up at three with a two-run fifth, courtesy of a Luis Castillo double and a Jeff Francoeur RBI single.
Houston took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by Chris Coste.
Omir Santos went 3-for-4 with a home run for New York; Castillo also went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Every member of the Mets starting lineup tallied a hit except for Santana.
On Houston's side, every starter got at least one hit, while Miguel Tejada, Ivan Rodriguez, and Michael Bourn all tallied two apiece.