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David Wright gets 200th HR but Mets' slide continues with loss to worst team in baseball

Jonathon Niese hangs his head after surrendering a

Jonathon Niese hangs his head after surrendering a seventh-inning home run to the Astros' Tyler Greene. (Aug. 24, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse . . . the Mets lost to the worst team in baseball Friday night.

The Astros, who had won seven of their previous 50 games, beat the Mets at Citi Field, 3-1.

Houston (40-86) had lost seven in a row. It was the Astros' first win under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco.

The Mets (57-69) have lost six in a row and are 11-29 since the All-Star break. They have dropped 15 of their last 17 home games but remained a half-game ahead of last-place Miami in the NL East as the Marlins lost to the Dodgers.

"It's a humbling experience," a baffled Terry Collins said. "What you've got to do is fight through it."

The only highlight for the Mets was David Wright's 200th career home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. Wright's 17th of the season and first in 93 at-bats survived a replay review; the ball struck the bottom of the foul pole.

Wright is third on the Mets' all-time home run list behind Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220).

"That's a lot of home runs," Wright said. "I never would have thought I'd be able to hit 200 home runs in the big leagues. I'm very proud of that."

Wright also singled off the bottom of the wall in right in the sixth. Unfortunately for the Mets, Steve Pearce threw him out when he tried to stretch it into a double.

Jon Niese (10-7) allowed three runs, six hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out five. Niese was outdueled by righthander Jordan Lyles (3-10), who came in with a 5.70 ERA. Lyles gave up one run in six innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out four.

The Mets, who have failed to score more than two runs in seven straight games, finished with four hits.

Houston scored twice in the second inning after Niese struck out the first two batters. Chris Snyder (.185 batting average) walked and scored on a double by Brandon Barnes (.167). Houston made it 2-0 when Lyles (.111) doubled to left.

The Mets put runners on first and third with none out in the bottom of the inning. But Jordany Valdespin grounded into a fielder's choice, first base to catcher, and Andres Torres bounced into an inning-ending double play.

"We got first and third and nobody out and we don't score," Collins said. "We're not playing that well that we can afford to do that."

Tyler Greene homered off Niese in the seventh.

Notes & quotes: Collin McHugh, who threw seven shutout innings in his big-league debut Thursday, was sent to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Jeremy Hefner, who returned from paternity leave . . . Justin Turner (1-for-3) started instead of Daniel Murphy and will again Saturday. Collins said the slumping Murphy is "out of gas," but Murphy said, "I'm no more tired than anybody else in here."

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