HOUSTON, July 25 (UPI) -- Chris Coste gave Houston the lead for good with a two-run double in the fifth Friday and the Astros went on to edge the New York Mets 5-4.
Houston pitcher Mike Hampton struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings and hit the 16th home run of his 15-year career.
The Astros won their fourth straight and remained 1 ½ games behind division-leading St. Louis in the National League Central. The Astros embarked on a stretch of at least two weeks without first baseman Lance Berkman, who went on the disabled list Thursday with a strained left calf.
Hampton (6-7) survived 5 2/3 innings to get the win, giving up four runs on eight hits. He gave Houston a 3-1 lead in the fourth with a two-run homer. It was his first home run since 2005. He hit seven homers while with the Colorado Rockies in 2001.
After the Mets tied it in the top of the fifth, Hunter Pence and Ivan Rodriguez reached on two-out singles in the bottom of the inning. Coste then hit the first pitch from Johan Santana to center for a double that scored both runners.
Santana (11-8) took the loss, surrendering five runs on 12 hits over 6 2/3. The Mets dropped their third straight.
Jose Valverde needed just seven pitches in the ninth to record his 11th save.