Astros In New York To Face Mets This Weekend

(Sports Network) - Brooklyn-born righty Nelson Figueroa returns to his hometown for a starting assignment when the Houston Astros visit the New York Mets tonight to open a three-game series at Citi Field.

The 36-year-old Figueroa, who's pitched for six major league teams, was a member of the Mets from 2008-09 and went 6-11 over 32 appearances while starting 16 times. He's also pitched for Arizona, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh in addition to the Mets and Astros.

The former 30th-round draft pick of New York in 1995 faced the Mets in Houston on Aug. 17 in Houston and got a no-decision after allowing an earned run on four hits in five innings. The Astros won the game, 4-3.

He's posted a 3.32 earned run average in seven lifetime appearances (two starts) against the Mets while allowing 22 hits and nine runs in 21 2/3 innings.

New York counters with 6-foot-7 righty Mike Pelfrey, who's won two of three since a midseason drought. The former first-round pick (ninth overall, 2005) downed Pittsburgh, 7-2, on Aug. 20 while giving up six hits and an earned run in eight innings.

Pelfrey was 10-2 on the season after beating Minnesota on June 25, but lost four straight decisions between July 5 and Aug. 4.

He is 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four career starts against Houston.

On Thursday in New York, Hanley Ramirez had three hits -- including a home run -- scored three times and drove in a pair as Florida stormed back from an early deficit to dismantle the Mets, 11-4, in the rubber match of a three-game set.

New York starter Jonathon Niese (8-6) started strong but wound up suffering the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks while fanning eight in 5 2/3 innings.

Houston comes into this series off an impressive four-game road sweep of Philadelphia. In Thursday's finale, Wandy Rodriguez stymied the Phillies hitters over seven innings and helped his own cause with an RBI single as the Astros posted a 5-1 win.

Rodriguez (10-12) struck out six and walked one. His lone mistake came in the sixth inning, when Chase Utleydoubled home Jimmy Rollins.

Carlos Lee hit an RBI double in the first inning and added a solo home run off Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (8-7) in the third. Kendrick, who was celebrating his 26th birthday on Thursday, gave up four runs and nine hits in six full frames.

The last time Houston swept the Phillies in a four-game series in Philadelphia was Sept. 6-9, 1999 at Veterans Stadium.

These teams split a four-game series in Houston earlier this month. The Mets won five of six meetings with the Astros last season, including a three-game sweep at Citi Field.

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