HOUSTON -- Carlos Lee would rather celebrate a win than his 2,000th hit.
The Astros slugger reached the milestone with an RBI single during a four-run first inning, then added a home run later in the game, helping Houston beat the New York Mets 7-3 on Saturday."Anytime you accomplish something, it's always better when you win," Lee said. "You can celebrate and have fun. It's a lot easier."The Astros made it look easy.Michael Bourn tripled to open the game against knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey (1-5) and scored on a groundout by Clint Barmes. Hunter Pence and Lee followed with singles, and three more runs scored on a double by Brett Wallace and singles by Chris Johnson and Bill Hall.
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"People always ask my goals," Lee said. "I don't follow numbers. I just want to stay healthy and see at the end of the season and see what we can do. I take more pride in getting RBIs."Lee hit one of three Astros home runs to snap New York's three-game winning streak. J.A. Happ (3-4) pitched six innings for the win, scattering five hits and three walks.Dickey allowed six hits in the first inning, then held the Astros in check until the sixth, when Hall and pinch hitter Matt Downs hit solo homers. It was Downs' first pinch-hit home run."This team in particular has had a pretty good approach," Dickey said. "I feel like in the first inning they were doing a good job of pushing balls the other way."I don't know if you guys noticed it, but after the first inning, I started to pitch more conventionally a lot more than I ever have as a Met, simply to break the spiral that was occurring in the first inning."Lee became the 17th active player to reach 2,000 hits, and he is the ninth active player to have at least that many hits while also belting 300 or more home runs."It was nice just to get there," said Lee, who also ran his hitting streak to eight games. "Thanks to God to keep me healthy all these years and to go out there and do the best I can do. It shows that I've been playing for a long time. I'm excited to get there."The Mets got one run in the third when Jose Reyes doubled and scored on a single to right field by Justin Turner, then added another in the fourth, when Daniel Murphy led off the inning with his third homer of the season.Reyes had an RBI single off reliever Mark Melancon in the ninth.
Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran sat out the game with swelling in his right eye. ... Francisco Rodriguez has converted 11 straight saves and hasn't allowed a run in the last 12 2/3 innings for the Mets. ... Turner became the seventh Mets player to hit in the No. 2 position this season. ... Houston CF Bourn leads the National League with 14 steals.