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NYM@HOU: Turner smashes a three-run shot in the sixth

HOUSTON -- Mets fans, say hello to Justin Turner. He could be the everyday second baseman for the rest of the year.

The Mets called up Turner April 19 from Triple-A Buffalo, and he made Sunday a monumental game in his young career.

Turner tore up the Astros with a two-run double in the fifth inning that tied the game and a three-run homer in the sixth to pad the Mets' lead en route to a 7-4 victory at Minute Maid Park.

"He loves to play," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Here's his chance. You've spent a few years in the Minor Leagues, you've been in Triple-A for a while and you sit there and say, 'If I just had a chance.' Well here's his opportunity and he's making the most of it."

Turner harassed the Astros all weekend, getting five hits in the three-game series.

He stepped to the plate in the sixth against Astros right-hander Aneury Rodriguez with two runners on and nobody out, an obvious bunt situation with the Mets leading, 4-2. Turner missed one bunt attempt and took another pitch high inside that put him on the seat of his pants.

"I'd rather get the bunt down on the first try and not have to worry about it," Turner said. "I guess I'll take [the home run]. Any time you hit a ball over the fence and drive in some runs, you feel pretty good. "

Turner hit a career-high 11 home runs last year in 78 games at Triple-A Buffalo. This was his first in the Majors after playing 17 games in 2009 and '10 with Baltimore.

He hoped to make the Mets this year in Spring Training.

"When Terry called me in his office in Spring Training, he basically told me, 'Go down, get your work in and be ready. You don't know what's going to happen,'" Turner said.

"It was tough. Everyone comes to Spring Training wanting to make the team, especially in that situation where there was a position to be won. If anyone tells you when they get sent out of camp, they're not mad about it, I think they're in the wrong profession."

Daniel Murphy drew a walk, following a Jason Bay single in the sixth, and Turner delivered the home run. Murphy received a little assistance from second-base umpire Angel Hernandez who called a ball when Rodriguez touched his fingers to his lips.

"It happened unintentionally," Rodriguez said. "The ball was kind of slippery and I tried to get some saliva on my fingers and I wanted to get a little grip on the ball."

Rodriguez, making only his third start in the Majors, paid for it, pulled from the game after Turner's home run.

"We were talking in the dugout -- you can't walk guys in this park," Collins said. "You've got to make them swing the bat. We got five hits and seven runs."

The Mets were hitless through four innings before Bay reached on an error as Houston first baseman Carlos Lee failed to catch a popup on the pitcher's mound. Murphy followed with a single, the Mets' first hit of the game that helped lead to four runs.

"He was throwing the ball pretty well, working both sides of the plate," Murphy said of Rodriguez. "I thought we got some good pitches to hit. After we got that first [hit], we strung some good at-bats together."

The Mets scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

"That fifth inning was a tough inning for us," Astros shortstop Clint Barmes said. "The fly ball on the infield needs to be caught. They got it rolling from there and took advantage and they had some clutch hits."

Left-hander Chris Capuano (3-4) pitched five innings for the win, allowing six hits, two runs, striking out six and walking three.

"Jason Bay made an unbelievable play out there," Capuano said. "For me, that was the difference in the game. If he doesn't make that play, it's a totally different ballgame. If he doesn't make that play, I'm not sure I even get through the fifth."

Bay in the fourth made a sliding catch off Michael Bourn with one run in, two outs and runners on first and second.

Collins was pleased with Capuano's performance, even though the pitcher lasted only five innings on 94 pitches.

"He can pitch," Collins said. "He knows how to use his changeup. He knows when to throw something with a wrinkle in it. He can pitch up in the zone. He throws harder than people think he does. He can get it up there at 89 [mph].

"He pitched out of three jams. He's close to 100 pitches. You worked very hard to get us to where we are now, that's good. That's enough. Our bullpen's been pitching good and we'll go from here."

Collins was also concerned about a possible blister developing on the pitcher's hand.

"Sometime on one of your fingers it will start feeling hot and it might turn into a blister," said Capuano, who beat Houston for the second time this year. "I've never had a blister problem before.

"Even going five innings, you're leaving four innings out there for your bullpen. Fortunately, they did a great job. As a starter you hate to go less than six or seven."

Collins said that Jason Isringhausen, his eighth-inning reliever, tweaked his groin in Colorado. Collins wanted to give Isringhausen another day's rest, but had to call on him when the Astros closed within 7-4.

Isringhausen pitched the Mets out of a jam in the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez showed up for a 1-2-3 ninth and save No. 12.

"I wasn't going to use K-Rod for another four-out save, so I'm going to use [Isringhausen]," Collins said. "It was a warm enough day, and he said he felt fine."

The Mets won two out of three in Colorado and two out of three in Houston to complete the successful road trip.

"I thought this road trip was outstanding," Collins said. "The guys played very, very well. This is a good stepping stone going home for us."

"Any time you can have a winning record on the road, you're excited about it," Murphy said. "We're trying to get to a number [of wins] to get in the playoffs." Comments