NEW YORK (AP) -
was stunned to see two
with a combined three homers this season take him deep in the 10th inning.
The way the year has gone for the Mets' bullpen, it shouldn't have been surprising at all.
led off the 10th with his second homer of the year,
connected for his third three batters later and Houston rallied against New York's unpredictable bullpen for a 6-4 win Sunday.
''I surprised myself because of giving up a slider for a home run,'' Feliciano said. ''We got struggle time, we got outstanding
time. Just one day, one game. Tomorrow we're going to come back and win.''
failed to hold a 4-3 lead in the seventh provided by
's two home runs, and Feliciano (2-4), the Mets' sixth pitcher, gave up both home runs in the 10th, Houston's pen retired
the 12 batters it faced to help the Astros improve to 3-3 on their seven-game road trip.
pitched two innings in relief of
(2-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth and
was perfect in the 10th for his 33rd save in 39 tries.
Hawkins has not given up a run in 10 outings since Houston acquired him in a trade with the Yankees on July 30. He had a 5.71
ERA with New York.
''The bullpen has pitched awfully well. Now we can use Sampson along with Hawkins in the late innings,'' Astros manager
said. ''I can't say enough about them and the bench.''
hit a two-run shot, but much of this win could be attributed to the substitutes, who've been pushed into bigger roles with
and Kaz Matsui out with injuries and slugger
made an elastic catch to end an early bases-loaded threat and had a sacrifice fly. Pinch-hitter
drove in pinch-hitter
to tie it at 4 in the seventh. Ausmus entered as a defensive replacement and homered in his one at-bat.
And Erstad was playing first base because Berkman was given the day off after a night game to rest his sore left hamstring
and a jammed thumb, although he batted in the 10th.
''Terrific win. Team effort. Everybody contributed. We played them all and they all contributed,'' Cooper said. ''All our
extra men played and lots of them helped out.''
The NL East-leading Mets lost consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 10-11.
''We've played good baseball. We just haven't got the offense on track in the last couple of days. They've done a good job
against us,'' manager
said. ''Their 'pen shut us down and we kind of gave it up in our 'pen.''
Manuel turned to his relievers after
walked Pence with one out in the seventh, and the Mets' bullpen reverted to its struggling ways after showing signs of stabilizing
during the first five games of a seven-game homestand.
Heilman gave up a double off the right-field wall to Blum on his first pitch. Newhan singled to right to drive in Pence, but
Blum was nabbed trying to score.
' throw to catcher
beat Blum by several feet to keep it tied at 4.
Heilman, who hadn't allowed a run in four outings, did not move from the stretch position while Manuel made the walk from
the dugout to replace him with
''It's a tough deal because you'd like to see him attack,'' Manuel said. ''There's also a plan in place and he didn't execute.''
Beltran gave New York a 4-3 lead with his second homer of the game, a drive off the screen attached to the left-field foul
pole. Beltran, a switch-hitter, had hit just two of his 17 homers from the right side before connecting as a righty twice
It was Beltran's 24th career multihomer game and second this season.
Beltran's first homer came after
walked in the first.
singled leading off but was thrown out at second trying to tag up on a fly to left-center.
Wolf got help from his defense in the third, too. After Tatis walked with the bases loaded to make it 3-0, second baseman
Loretta made a diving catch of a flair hit by
near the line in shallow right, sliding on his belly and holding his glove up, with plenty of ball showing, to end the threat.
Loretta then hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Pence, who came in hitting .190 (15-for-79) in August and looked lost
striking out in the second, hit his career-high 18th homer, a two-run shot that tied it 3-all.
Notes: The Mets fell to 1-5 against Houston this season. ... Wolf came in 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA against New York this season.
He gave up four runs in six innings. ... Fighting a sore shoulder, Mets RHP
will throw a side session in the next couple of days and is confident he'll make his scheduled start Friday at Florida.