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Rookie hits first Shea Stadium homer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Only one problem with rookie David Wright's
first home run at Shea Stadium: the souvenir ball was long gone.

Wright singled in the go-ahead run and later homered into
Houston's left-field bullpen, sending the depleted New York Mets
past the Astros 7-3 Tuesday night.

"One of the bullpen guys tossed it up in the stands, I guess,"
he said.

In a matchup of fading teams in danger of dropping from
wild-card contention, the Mets ended a three-game losing streak and
handed Houston its fifth loss in six games.

"The funk has got us so cloudy we're not sure what we're
doing," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "When you pitch poorly,
you've got to score a lot of runs and we haven't been doing that."

Richard Hidalgo delivered a key double against the club that
traded him in mid-June, and Jose Reyes hit a two-run triple for the
Mets. Lance Berkman hit his 18th home run for Houston.

The Mets won minus injured catcher Mike Piazza (knee) and
shortstop Kaz Matsui (back).

Five hours before gametime, Mets pitcher Tom Glavine lost two
front teeth and needed stitches for a cut lower lip after an
automobile accident while going from nearby LaGuardia Airport to
the ballpark in a taxi cab. He was scratched from Wednesday night's
start.

"I'm just thankful it's not worse," Mets manager Art Howe
said.

Steve Trachsel (10-8) won for the first time in six starts since
the All-Star break. He left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh
inning, when the Mets pulled away with three runs.

Pete Munro (2-4), who grew up just minutes from Shea Stadium and
pitched at nearby Cardozo High School, retired the first seven
batters in easy fashion. It was a struggle after that, and he was
gone after five innings.

"I couldn't stay out of the big inning. In the fourth, I just
couldn't get the ball down," he said.

Wright struck out in his first at-bat, and hitting coach Don
Baylor took him aside for a quick talk in the dugout, saying he was
pulling his head off the ball.

Wright, the Mets' third baseman of the present and future,
singled up the middle past the drawn-in infield to cap a three-run
burst in the fourth that put the Mets ahead 4-3.

"I made some adjustments," Wright said.

Cliff Floyd and Hidalgo, playing against the Astros for the
first time since being traded, began the inning with doubles. Mike
Cameron followed with an RBI single that rolled under center
fielder Carlos Beltran's glove for a two-base error, and Wright
singled.

Wright led off the seventh with a home run to left field off
reliever Tim Redding. Wright's previous three homers for the Mets
came on the road, and he got a nice cheer when he rounded the bases
and again when he batted in the eighth.

"This one was definitely more exciting," Wright said. "Just
to hear the crowd cheering sends chills down your spine."

Said Howe: "That's one of many throughout his career, I
think."

The game featured a couple of unusual plays on the bases.

Houston put runners at the corners with no outs in the second
and Jose Vizcaino grounded to Wright. After getting a forceout,
second baseman Joe McEwing chose to throw home instead of making
the double-play relay, and Jeff Kent slid in to score.

The next batter, Brad Ausmus, hit a low liner to Reyes at
shortstop. Reyes thought he caught it and threw to first, hoping to
double up Vizcaino, who also thought it was a lineout. Instead, the
ball was correctly ruled a trap, and Vizcaino remained at first.

The next inning, Reyes rounded second base and wandered too far
on Eric Valent's RBI infield single, and was tagged out.

Game notes
After the game, the Astros optioned Redding to Triple-A New
Orleans and put LHP Darren Oliver on the 15-day disabled list
because of a tight left shoulder. The Astros recalled RHP Chad
Qualls and LHP Carlos Hernandez from New Orleans. ... The Mets
began wearing patches to honor longtime announcer Bob Murphy, who
died last week. ... Houston slugger Jeff Bagwell went 0-for-3 with
a walk, and is hitless in nine at-bats.