(Sports Network) - Dominican lefty Fernando Abad makes the first start of his major-league career Saturday when the Houston Astros face the New York Mets in game two of a three-game weekend series at Citi Field.
The 26-year-old has appeared in 81 games - all in relief - for the Astros since he was signed as an amateur free agent in 2002.
He debuted in the big leagues in 2010 and was 0-1 in 22 games with a 2.84 earned run average, then pitched 29 times the following season and carried a 7.32 ERA through 19 2/3 innings.
He's pitched 30 times this season with a 3.86 ERA while mixing in time at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he's started three times in 13 appearances while striking out 28 batters in 27 2/3 innings.
In seven career meetings with the Mets, he's recorded a hold while tossing 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out four.
The Mets start knuckleballing ace R.A. Dickey, who aims to end a two-start skid.
The 37-year-old Tennessee native tossed a complete game for a 6-1 win at Miami on Aug. 9 and has since gone 0-1 in two starts while allowing 13 hits and six runs in 13 innings.
Dickey has been stellar at home during a breakout 15-win season, going 7-1 in 13 games at Citi Field with a 2.55 ERA in 88 1/3 innings.
He's 1-2 in seven career games against Houston.
On Friday, Jordan Lyles tossed six effective innings and added an RBI double as the Astros downed the Mets, 3-1.
Lyles (3-10) allowed one run on three hits and two walks to earn his first win since June 26, snapping a streak of six straight losing decisions. Wilton Lopez recorded the final four outs of the game to record his second save of the season.
Tyler Greene homered and Brandon Barnes also knocked in a run for Houston, which halted a seven-game slide.
The win was the first for Astros interim manager Tony DeFranceso, who took over on Aug. 19 after Brad Mills was fired.
"I'm going to remember every one of those guys," DeFranceso said. "It's been good for our coaching staff. I know it's been tough on them, but we're sticking together on this."
Jon Niese (10-7) surrendered all three runs on six hits and two walks over seven innings as the Mets dropped their sixth consecutive game.
David Wright hit his 200th career home run to supply the offense for New York.
Houston swept a three-game set from the Mets at Minute Maid Park between April 30 and May 2, outscoring New York, 18-7. The teams split last season's series, 3-3, and New York won by a 4-3 count in 2010.