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NYM@HOU: Wright's two-run shot gives Mets the lead

HOUSTON -- David Wright is healthy. So is Jason Bay. And Fernando Martinez may be here to stay.

Each one hit a homer Friday night to help the Mets rally from a 4-0 deficit after six innings to overtake the Astros, 6-4, at Minute Maid Park.

Bay, who pulled an oblique muscle the final day of Spring Training, played in only his 18th game Friday. Houston starter Bud Norris sailed through 6 2/3 innings before Bay hit his second homer of the season to slice the Astros' lead to 4-1.

"We've got to depend on the middle of that lineup," said Mets manager Terry Collins, referring to Wright hitting third, Carlos Beltran fourth and Bay fifth. "With Jason hitting the homer and David breaking out, that's a huge win for us. Bay had some really good at-bats [Thursday] and he swung the bat good again today."

"He's the type of guy, when he gets hot, he can carry us," Wright said of Bay.

Bay also made a key defensive contribution in the second inning, when he threw out Houston's Carlos Lee at home after Lee tried to score from second on a single.

"The last few days I've felt a lot better," Bay said. "You try to build on it. Starting [Thursday] in Colorado was kind of like, 'Take a deep breath and wipe the slate clean.' I hit some balls well there, and it carried over to today. When things go rough for a while, you kind of fall into a bit of a well."

The Mets were still in trouble until Justin Turner led off the eighth with a single and one out later, pinch-hitter Martinez hit a two-run homer off Norris.

"Fernando hitting the home run, we knew we were back in the game," Collins said.

The Mets called up Martinez from Triple-A Buffalo Thursday to replace the injured Ike Davis, and Friday night was his second at-bat of the season with the big league club.

"We knew we had a weapon [in Martinez]," Collins said. "What helped us, he's been in the lineup every day for the last few weeks in Buffalo. He's been swinging the best down there, and that's what you need.

"If he stays healthy, he's going to be a big league player for years. This guy has all the skills it takes to be a star. In Spring Training, when we sent him down, we told him, 'You've got to show us you can stay in the lineup and stay healthy.'"

Martinez hit his only previous home run in the Majors against Milwaukee in 2009, when he collected 91 at-bats in 29 games. He appeared in only seven games last year with the Mets.

"I feel at home," said Martinez, who hit a slider for the home run. "Yeah, it's very tough [pinch-hitting]. I just have to be ready. I have enough confidence. I'm ready to be up here and do my job."

After Jose Reyes walked, chasing Norris, reliever Jeff Fulchino retired Josh Thole on a fly ball.

Enter David Wright, struggling with a bad back and low batting average, fresh from two days off thanks to Wednesday's rainout in Colorado and Collins resting him Thursday.

"I need to do a better job of addressing off time for him," Collins said. "It tells me this guy needs a break every now and then. This guy plays the game as hard as anybody in the league. When you run him out there 30 times in a row, he's going to run out of gas. I thought it was a big swing of the bat for him. Kind of ease his mind a little bit."

"It feels good to hit home runs and drive in runs," Wright said. "When you can do it late in the ball game, it's even more important. I like the fashion we won."

It was the Mets' biggest comeback win since May 11, 2010, when they rallied from a 6-2 deficit against Washington to win, 8-6.

Wright wasn't quite as enamored with the days off as his manager.

"When you look at the big picture, it's probably beneficial," he said. "But when you get in the heat of the moment, you don't want to take those days. A day off here and there is not bad. You don't want to take many. It's good now and then to recharge the battery."

Fulchino took the loss for Houston, unable to protect Norris' lead.

"I should have gotten out of that inning," Norris said of the Mets' four-run eighth. "I should have made some better pitches. A guy came off the bench and hit a home run. It was a heck of swing. Not the best pitch, not the worst pitch, but I had him where I wanted him and they've got a great-swinging team and can do that. I held them for a long time and am a little frustrated about it, no doubt."

"Norris pitched a great game and we just hung in there," Collins said.

Mets starter Dillon Gee, a native of Cleburne, Texas, was out of control, walking four, hitting a batter and committing a balk in five-plus innings.

"That's not the guy we know," Collins said. "He's probably got 100 people here. I know he was all amped up. I'm going to cut him a little slack, and hopefully he gets ready for his next start."

"I don't think that was the issue tonight," Gee said of having so many family and friends in attendance. "It's not an excuse. Walking four guys and hitting a guy isn't going to get it done. It's frustrating.

"I was just off tonight. I struggled with the fastball command early, that's where it all starts. The curveball I couldn't throw for a strike either. The one pitch I could throw for a strike was the changeup, and I was throwing far too many of them, and they started sitting on them." Comments