Altuve contributes to cause in spring debut

Altuve contributes to cause in spring debut

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets infielder Wilmer Flores outshined countryman Jose Altuve on Monday, hitting a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, but the Astros came from behind to score a 5-2 win over the Mets at First Data Field.

Facing Astros right-hander Michael Feliz, Flores temporarily reclaimed the lead for a Mets team that had lost it on Altuve's RBI single in the third. The reigning American League batting champion and starting second baseman for Venezuela in next month's World Baseball Classic, Altuve finished 1-for-2 with a walk in his spring debut.

But in the ninth, the Astros went ahead for good when Anibal Sierra drew a bases-loaded walk off Tom Gorzelanny and extended their lead on a Tony Kemp two-run single.

Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who could lead off this season in games that Jose Reyes does not start, opened the bottom of the first inning with a home run. That was the only run that Astros starter Joe Musgrove allowed in two innings, striking out one batter and allowing three hits.

"Not my best," Musgrove said. "I had a game plan going in and didn't execute very well. I fell behind a lot of hitters early on in the first inning and that's what happens when you fall behind hitters like that. You get hurt. I thought I did a better job in the second inning of getting ahead early and trying to attack guys more."

Mets starter P.J. Conlon did not allow any runs, but closer Jeurys Familia gave up Altuve's single in his spring debut. Familia is slated to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Astros Up Next: The Astros will open their new Spring Training stadium, Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, at 12:05 p.m. CT Tuesday as the road team against the Nats, with whom they share the stadium. Mike Fiers will make his first start of the spring in a game in which Carlos Beltran will make his first appearance in an Astros uniform since 2004. Watch the game on MLB.TV.

Mets Up Next: Seth Lugo will make his second spring start when the Mets travel to Jupiter, Fla. on Tuesday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Marlins. Lugo, who threw two shutout innings in his Grapefruit League debut against the Red Sox, is tuning up to start Team Puerto Rico's opening game in the World Baseball Classic. Listen to the game on Gameday Audio.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.