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Mets Defeat Astros, 5-1

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - R.A. Dickey worked seven-plus solid innings and helped his own cause with a two-run single, as the New York Mets earned a 5-1 decision over the Houston Astros in the rubber match of a three-game series at Citi Field.

Josh Thole went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and scored twice for the Mets, who have split their last six games overall.

Dickey (9-5) allowed one run on six hits to earn his third win in four decisions. The knuckleballer, who has now pitched at least seven innings in four straight starts, walked two and struck out a pair. He finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Michael Bourn had an RBI infield single for Houston, which had won six of seven entering the series finale.

Bud Norris (6-8), a winner of four straight decisions coming in, yielded eight hits, five runs and three walks while fanning five over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.

New York opened the scoring with a four-spot in the second. The Mets loaded the bases with nobody out on a pair of walks sandwiched around a double. After Luis Hernandez went down swinging, Dickey grounded a two-run single up the middle that left runners on the corners. An RBI groundout by Angel Pagan and a bloop run-scoring single from Luis Castillo made it a 4-0 game.

Bourn's RBI infield single in the third plated Jason Castro, who led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, to get the Astros on the board.

Each side threatened in the fourth, but were unable to score, and both starters limited the chances until Thole cracked a one-out solo shot to right in the sixth, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Dickey retired eight straight, but surrendered a single to Tommy Manzella leading off the eighth and was promptly lifed in favor of Bobby Parnell, who got Hunter Pence to bounce into a double play. After Carlos Lee singled and Geoff Blum doubled to put runners on second and third, the right- hander set down Jason Michaels on a ground ball to end the threat.

Hisanori Takahashi worked a scoreless ninth to polish off the win.

These teams split a four-game series in Houston last week...Mets shortstop Jose Reyes missed the game with a strained right oblique...Mets backup catcher Henry Blanco was celebrating his 39th birthday, but did not see any action...Dickey improved to 6-1 in eight starts at Citi Field this season.