MINUTE MAID PARK
FINAL
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
METS
0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ASTROS
0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 1
R H E
4 8 0
5 8 2
WINNING PITCHER
J. Valverde Valverde
#47 RHP
5-3, 4.47 ERA
1.0 Innings
0 ER
LOSING PITCHER
Heilman A. Heilman
#48 RHP
1-6, 5.25 ERA
0.0 Innings
1 ER

HOUSTON (AP) - Lance Berkman raced home when Darin Erstad lined out to left in the 10th inning and the Houston Astros beat the New York Mets 5-4 Saturday night after tying it on a memorable play in the ninth inning.

New York was leading 4-2 when Houston loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Billy Wagner , who had converted 13 of his previous 14 save chances. Pinch-hitter Geoff Blum then lined a single to left and Hunter Pence raced around third, right on Mark Loretta 's heels.

In an image reminiscent of a scene in the baseball movie ''Major League,'' both players slid in safely in a three-player collision with catcher Ramon Castro , who lost the ball. Castro left the game with a sprained right ankle.

Aaron Heilman (1-6), who gave up Mark Loretta 's tiebreaking grand slam in Friday's 7-3 Astros win, gave up a walk to Berkman and a single to Carlos Lee to start the 10th.

Pedro Feliciano relieved and struck out Michael Bourn . He issued an intentional walk to Hunter Pence before Erstad sliced a 3-2 pitch toward Fernando Tatis in left field. Tatis fell down as he caught it and Berkman scored the winning run.

It was a costly loss for New York, which has dropped five of six to fall into third in the NL East. The Mets are two games back of Philadelphia and trail Florida by a half-game.

Kaz Matsui hit a solo homer in the eighth for the Astros, who have won five of six.

Wagner's blown save against his former team ruined a strong start from Johan Santana , who threw 6 1-3 solid innings and has been repeatedly let down by his bullpen this season.

Damion Easley hit two-run homer in the second, and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado each drove in a run in the third to help the Mets built a 4-0 lead against ace Roy Oswalt .

Santana didn't allow a baserunner for three innings. Matsui led off the Houston fourth with a triple to left-center and Santana hit Berkman with a pitch with one out.

Lee singled to score Matsui, prompting a mound visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen . Santana walked Loretta to load the bases, but struck out Pence and retired Erstad on a popup to get out of the inning.

Oswalt reached 100 pitches in the sixth, his highest total since June 25, the start before he strained his left hip. He sat out two weeks, then allowed four runs in his return start on Monday, a 5-4 victory over Cincinnati.

Tim Byrdak relieved Oswalt for the seventh and got Beltran to fly out. LaTroy Hawkins , acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees on Wednesday, came in and struck out two of the three batters he faced in his Houston debut.

Santana walked Pence leading off the Houston seventh, then plunked Erstad with his 99th pitch. After Brad Ausmus flew out, Mets manager Jerry Manuel brought in Duaner Sanchez .

Pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton hit a drive to the left-field wall, but Daniel Murphy made a leaping catch. Pence was already halfway to third and Murphy made a perfect throw to second, where Easley tagged him out to complete the double play.

Murphy also scored a run in his major league debut. He was called up from Triple-A New Orleans before the game, taking the spot vacated when Marlon Anderson was put on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

Notes: The Astros have hit 14 home runs in their last seven games. ... Beltran batted in the No. 2 spot for the first time this season. Manuel said he was trying to kick-start Beltran, who came into the game with seven hits in his last 35 at-bats. ... The Mets have gone 11 straight games without an error.