HOUSTON - Pinch-hitter Mark Loretta hit a tie-breaking
grand slam off Aaron Heilman in the eighth inning and the Houston
Astros beat the New York Mets 7-3 on Friday night.
Kazuo Matsui, Brandon Backe and Carlos Lee had solo homers, all
leading off innings against Pedro Martinez, who made his first
start since July 12. Martinez returned to the mound for the first
time since the death of his father on July 23, and allowed five
hits with five strikeouts in five innings.
Doug Brocail (5-5) got the final two outs of the eighth and Jose
Valverde worked the ninth as the Astros won for the fifth time in
It was Loretta's fourth career grand slam.