NEW YORK -- Ike Davis watched the ball fly out to right, getting nervous as it hit the top of the wall before bouncing over for a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Davis' second home run of the game gave the Mets a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday, as New York answered Houston's ninth-inning run with one of its own.
After the game, Davis acknowledged with a smile he was "scared I'd look like a fool" if the ball didn't go out as he had started his home-run trot.
In the bigger picture, the Mets have to hope they aren't counting on something happening prematurely. Before Sunday's game, general manager Sandy Alderson told season-ticket holders he expected to see All-Stars David Wright and R.A. Dickey stay with the Mets for the long-term, even beyond next year when the club holds options on both of them.
Both players on the 59-69 Mets were not as committal, saying playing on a winning team would be a factor in their decisions.
"That's nice of him, thank you," Wright, long considered the face of the franchise, said politely when told of Alderson's remarks.
Told Dickey had said the chance to win would be a factor in his decision and the 16-game winner "would like to know what direction that we're going," Wright said such considerations would be part of his decision.
"I haven't really thought about it too much, but of course, it's every player's goal to win, and I don't think I'm any different in that aspect of it," Wright said. "I think that you want to experience winning. I think it's just in our nature; it's definitely in my nature. So that's definitely a big factor in it. I think once the season gets over, I'll sit down with the people who are important to me and discuss what means the most to me, find out what factors are going to be important to me, and kind of go from there."
Wright emphasized that he was in team control next season with the option, so "the ball's in their court," but acknowledged "of course, I'd like to hear kind of the plan moving forward."
Amid a miserable slide in the second half, the Mets took a little step forward Sunday with their second straight win over their struggling counterparts.
The victory went to Bobby Parnell (3-3), who nearly lost the game in the top of the ninth after starter Jeremy Hefner was three outs from a complete-game shutout.
Most of the game featured a crisp pitchers' duel as Astros starter Lucas Harrell gave up Davis' first homer in the fourth and just one other hit, striking out seven and walking two.
Hefner gave up a leadoff single to pinch hitter Jose Altuve in the ninth. Altuve then stole second before Marwin Gonzalez doubled down the left-field corner. Lucas Duda -- fresh up from Class AAA Buffalo and playing his more natural position of left field instead of right field, where he played before his demotion -- attempted a running catch. But as Duda made an awkward stab at it, the ball tipped off his glove, tying the game at 1-1.
Hefner allowed the one run on five hits and tied a career high by striking out seven.
"That's the best results I've had, obviously," Hefner said. "I felt good. Pretty much everything was working. ... They were really aggressive and I tried to use that to my advantage."
Robert Carson came on and got Brett Wallace on a liner to first for the first out. Ben Francisco then greeted Parnell with a single to left. But Duda preserved the tie, throwing a perfect strike to cut down the run at home as catcher Kelly Shoppach expertly blocked a sliding Gonzalez and made the tag.
"It was a bang-bang play," Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco said of the play, which led to a quick ejection of Gonzalez. "The umpire got it right, but I thought it could have (gone) either way. It was a heckuva play by the catcher squashing him off the plate."
Parnell recorded the third out on a comebacker by Tyler Greene, following an intentional walk to Scott Moore.
Davis then won the game with his 24th homer of the season, off Wilton Lopez (5-2), as he continued to improve his numbers after a horrendous start.
"For having such a bad start, possibly the worst I've ever been on a baseball field in my entire life," Davis said, "I've really grinded it out and the numbers aren't amazing, but they're not awful."
Davis' first homer was the only real blemish against Harrell, who credited catcher Chris Snyder for the results.
"I felt like I was working quick and in the zone all day," Harrell said. "Snyder called a great game. We are on the same page every pitch. I really like throwing to Snyder."
NOTES: Jordany Valdespin, who was 8-for-49 in August, was demoted to Buffalo to make room for Duda. ... Second baseman Daniel Murphy returned to the lineup after two days off but was taken out of the game following his at-bat in the eighth, with what the Mets called a strained right shoulder. He will undergo an MRI on Monday, but he said he expected to be fine. ... Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell (bruised right index finger) missed his fifth consecutive game. He was scheduled to see a doctor in Houston on Monday and the club will decide Wednesday whether he will be put on the disabled list, DeFrancesco said. ... Armando Galarraga, who was designated for assignment Wednesday by the Astros, opted for free agency. DeFrancesco said Fernando Abad had earned the right to stay in the rotation after pitching four innings of one-run ball Saturday.
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