(Oswalt rejects Roger Clemens’ suggestion that Cliff Floyd’s shattered bat is in fact, a ball that must be hurled at the Mets’ left-fielder)

Astros 2, Mets 1

While El Duque, Roberto Hernandez, Darren Oliver and Guillermo Mota held the Astros to 1 hit over 8 innings, Houston’s Roy Oswalt retired 18 in a row prior to allowing a single to Jose Reyes in the top of the 7th.  The Astros managed to manufacture a couple of runs off the Mets’ Hernandezes (Orlando walking 6 in 5 and a third), and the lead stood up ; Oswalt getting out of a 3rd and 2nd jam in the 8th, Brad Lidge collecting his 29th save despite serving up a solo HR to Carlos Delgado.  Lidge retired Shawn Green for the final out on a terrific play by 2B Eric Bruntlett, ranging far to his right before gunning down Steve Lyons’ favorite Chosen Person.

Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez combined for 7 hits, 3 runs and 6 RBI’s in Florida’s 10-3 defeat of Milwaukee, a result that improved the Marlins’ record to 68-68.  On May 21, the held a 11-31 mark.  According to MLB.com’s Joe DiGiovanni, the Fish are the first team since the 1899 Lousville Colonels to improve to a .500 record after being 20 games under in the same season.  They’re also 2 games behind NL Wild Card leader San Diego.

Congratulations, Washington Nationals. Though you’re 18 games under .500, this weekend’s sweep of Arizona renders the Snakes a non-entity.  Alfonso Soriano needs just another 4 steals in a little less than a month to become baseball’s 4th-ever 40/40 man, joining the elite group of Jose Canseco, A-Rod and the Sultan Of Surly. Persons who suggested last spring that playing at RFK would dramatically mess with Soriano’s production are advised to handle the way I will — go back and erase or delete those entries.