© 2005 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

06/07/05 11:29 PM ET

Backe going for third straight win

Astros (21-35) at Mets (31-27), 6:10 p.m. CT

The Astros have some hits stored up in their bats, and they'll try to unload them on the New York Mets in the second game of their three-game set on Wednesday.

On their second trip of the year to the Big Apple, Houston was rudely welcomed by Mets ace Pedro Martinez, who fired a complete-game two-hitter against the Astros on Tuesday.

The Astros aim to even the series on Wednesday, when Brandon Backe makes his first start of the month.

Backe last started on May 31, when he beat Cincinnati in a 6 1/3-inning performance. His last appearance came in relief on Saturday, when he pitched two innings during the Astros' 11-9 loss to St. Louis.

The Mets counter with right-hander Victor Zambrano, who has faced the Astros once already this year, allowing three runs in six innings on April 14.

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Brandon Backe
• 5-3, 4.54 ERA in 2005
• 0-0, 4.26 ERA vs. NYM in 2005

NYM: RHP Victor Zambrano
• 3-5, 4.24 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 0.00 ERA vs. HOU in 2004

Player to watch
Backe has fared the best among Houston hitters against Zambrano, going 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI against the Mets' hurler. Among Houston position players, Lance Berkman is tops, going 2-for-6 with a double and an RBI.

"It was kind of a combination of thoughts. At first, it's the gratification of knowing you hit the ball well. Then, it's that you broke up the no-hitter and it's your first home run, and it's off Pedro Martinez. When I went in the dugout, I had to kind of sit down for a second." -- Chris Burke

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television
• HOU: FSN Houston

On radio
• HOU: KTRH 740 AM
• NYM: WFAN 660 AM, WADO 1280 AM (Español)

Quick hits
Houston's Willy Taveras (strained left hamstring) said he would have been unable to play on Tuesday and is questionable for Wednesday's game. ... The Astros are 283-232 all-time against the Mets, including a 123-135 record in New York. They are 0-4 this year. ... Houston's starting pitcher has thrown at least six innings in nine of the club's last 11 games.

On deck
• Thursday: Astros at Mets, 6:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Astros vs. Blue Jays, 6:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Astros vs. Blue Jays, 5:05 p.m. CT

Bryan Hoch is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.