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Dickey tosses seven innings of one-run ball

The Astros have seen left-hander Fernando Abad as a reliever. On Saturday, they'll get a look at what he can do as a starter.

Abad will be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start for the Astros in the second game of their series with the Mets at Citi Field. A corresponding move will be announced before Saturday's game.

After making the Opening Day roster, Abad made 30 appearances out of the bullpen and posted a 3.86 ERA. He was optioned to Oklahoma City on July 28 to clear space for Armando Galarraga, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday.

Galarraga was set to start on Saturday, so Abad fills his spot in the rotation.

Abad, 26, allowed seven runs over 14 innings in three starts at Oklahoma City. His most recent start was his best -- he gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings against Round Rock.

"I saw him two or three times down there -- looks like a different pitcher in the starting rotation," said Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, who was the manager of Oklahoma City before taking over for the Astros on Sunday. "Good fastball, good breaking ball and an outstanding changeup. He's just another different look for us, we're excited about him and hopefully this role will be better for him."

Abad will get a chance to oppose one of the National League's best starters.

Cy Young Award candidate R.A. Dickey gets the ball for the Mets. He allowed one run over seven innings against the Rockies in his last start, but didn't get the win as the Mets plated only one run. Historically, pitcher wins have been a factor in Cy Young voting.

Dickey's record currently sits at 15-4. The Reds' Johnny Cueto and the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez both have 16 wins.

"I want to get to 16 wins," Dickey said after his last start. "However I can do that is what I'm interested in."

Against the Astros on April 30, Dickey gave up three runs in six innings, drawing a no-decision.

Astros: DeFrancesco focusing on establishing new attitude
During a team meeting before Friday's game, DeFrancesco reaffirmed his mission to establish a new mindset and attitude in the Astros' clubhouse.

"I want these guys to feel that I know that it's been a tough season so far, but the reminder is that we're not quitting," DeFrancesco said. "We believe in ourselves, we're going to go out and compete and pull for each other.

"We're going to have to make it fun. Even if we're losing, the game of baseball is fun. But once we get out on the field, we're going to compete and try and execute as best as we can."

DeFrancesco, who won his first game on Friday, also emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the remainder of the schedule.

"I look at it as a new beginning," he said.

Mets: Murphy gets day off Friday, probably Saturday
• Manager Terry Collins rested second baseman Daniel Murphy for Friday's series opener against the Astros and plans to do the same on Saturday.

Justin Turner started at second base on Friday. Collins has concerns about Murphy's energy level. He also wants to give Turner a string of consecutive at-bats.

"When you look at his last two years, one of them he didn't play at all, hardly," Collins said of Murphy. "The other one, last year, he got hurt and missed quite a bit of time. He's playing a new position. So I think not just physically, but mentally, the fact that he's at a new spot has worn him down a little bit because he plays every day as hard as anyone I've ever been around. He loves to play. He's a workaholic. I just think it's time for him to take a couple days."

Since Aug. 8, Murphy has batted .122 with a .170 on-base percentage. Turner hasn't started back-to-back games since June 20-22.

• Third baseman David Wright hit his 200th career homer in the fourth inning on Friday. He joins Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) as the only players in franchise history to reach 200 homers.

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