• Summary: Roy Oswalt won for the first time since June 17, and the Astros beat the Mets just over 12 hours after they lost a 17-inning thriller on Saturday night.
• Hero: Oswalt gave the Astros seven effective innings a night after the Astros' bullpen was taxed from the marathon game, improving to 8-5 on the season.
• Best since 2001: Oswalt has 106 wins since 2001, the most in the majors in that timespan.
• Quotable: "It was good after that game last night to get off to a good start. It's one of those situations where after that game last night, I think the team that comes out and scores first has an advantage psychologically." -- Lance Berkman.
-- ESPN.com news services
Astros 8, Mets 3
HOUSTON (AP) -- Chris Burke has been waiting all year to get into an offensive groove.Now that he finally has, capping a big weekend with a two-run homer in Houston's 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Sunday, he's not happy about waiting until after the All-Star break to try and keep it up."It's been fun," said Burke, who has five hits and three RBIs in the last two games. "That's always a nice rhythm, to be in up there where you feel like if you get a good pitch to hit, you're going to hit it hard. Unfortunately now I've got four days to think about it."A day after going 13 innings without a run in a 5-3, 17-inning loss to New York, the Astros scored early and often against Mets starter Dave Williams. They led 8-0 after four.Astros ace Roy Oswalt (8-5) got his first victory since June 17 and has 106 wins since 2001 for the most in the majors in that span, surpassing Randy Johnson's 105.Morgan Ensberg put the Astros in front with a two-run single to left in the first. Williams (0-1) intentionally walked Carlos Lee before walking Mark Loretta to load the bases ahead of Ensberg's hit.Ensberg scored on Bruntlett's single to make it 3-0 before Williams got Brad Ausmus to pop out with runners on first and second to end the inning.Williams ran into more trouble in the second in his first game since offseason neck surgery. Rookie Hunter Pence's sixth triple of the season drove in Burke, and Lance Berkman then hit a sacrifice fly."He got off with bad command," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He walked two or three guys. He just wasn't on. Obviously he was all over the place and struggled with his control."Burke homered into the Crawford Boxes in left field in the fourth to make it 7-0. Astros manager Phil Garner said he starting seeing good swings from Burke a couple of weeks ago in Colorado."He's swinging the bat well," Garner said. "If he can maintain that discipline he can hit well. I'm seeing that swing more and more in the game. If he keeps that up he's going to do very well."Williams gave up 10 hits and eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings. He threw 98 pitches, struck out two and walked four in his first major league appearance since September 25.He said he felt like he rushed through his pitches, but didn't realize it until after he sat down."Our guys tried to come back, but I buried us so far we couldn't," Williams said. "I'm not really down on myself, I'm just kind of kicking myself for not slowing down."Oswalt settled down after a rocky first inning, retiring 14 batters in a row after a walk with two outs in the first. He also gave up a pair of singles in the first, but pitched out of trouble by striking out Jose Valentin to end the inning."It was a key inning there to set a tone early that I'm not giving them the lead coming out of the chute," Oswalt said. "After that I felt great. I threw a lot of fastballs late in the game, trying to get some early strikes and not walk anybody."He didn't give up another hit until David Newhan singled with one out in the sixth. Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run homer that landed just over the wall in right field and made it 8-2.Oswalt allowed three runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked one.After Burke's fourth-inning homer, Lance Berkman doubled before scoring on a double by Lee to extend Houston's lead to 8-0. Mark Loretta's single chased Williams and Aaron Sele retired the next two batters to end the inning."It was good after that game last night to get off to a good start," Berkman said. "It's one of those situations where after that game last night, I think the team that comes out and scores first has an advantage psychologically."Sandy Alomar Jr. doubled and scored on All-Star Jose Reyes' single in the seventh. Reyes, benched in the eighth inning Friday night for failing to run out a groundball, stole two bases Sunday. He leads the majors with 46 this season and his 202 career swipes is tied with Howard Johnson for second in franchise history.
Ricky Ledee was designated for assignment before Sunday's game to make room for Williams on the roster. ... Houston went 7-4 on its season-high 11-game homestand and won't return to Minute Maid Park until July 23.