Astacio pitched six effective innings in his season debut and
had a pair of RBI doubles to lead the Mets to a 7-4 win over the
in the rubber game of a three-game series.
Astacio (1-0) had been on the disabled list since the start of the season with tendinitis in his pitching shoulder. But he allowed just two runs and four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
on the disabled list and his value questionable should he return, the Mets sorely need a healthy and effective Astacio, who was 12-11 last season, as the No. 3 starter behind
"It was a good start," Astacio said. "They want me, they need me, and I want to be there. Grab the ball every fifth day and do it, and I did that."
A strong year from Alomar, who struggled through his first season with the Mets, also would not hurt. He raised his average to .296 with run-scoring doubles in the second and fifth innings.
also drove in two runs with groundouts in the first and fourth.
The Mets, who matched a season high for runs, played without catcher
, who was a late scratch due to a sore groin.
Astacio started slowly, hitting
with a pitch and giving up a single to
. But he got
to hit into a double play as Houston settled for one run.
"I'm a big
fan," said Bagwell, who had an RBI single in the sixth. "If he's healthy, he's going to be fine."
"He got us out to the bullpen with a little margin for error," Mets manager
said. "I liked the way he attacked the strike zone."