Nolan Ryan was wild but struck out 12 to enable the Houston Astros to beat the Mets, 6-3, last night in New York.
Bill Doran's two-run homer helped give Ryan a 5-0 lead before he threw a pitch. But he walked five and, after throwing 131 pitches in eight innings, got help from reliever Bill Dawley.
Ryan (8-1) allowed two unearned runs on four hits. His strikeouts raised his career total to 3,573, again putting him atop the all-time list ahead of Steve Carlton.
"I struggled the entire game," said Ryan, who is 5-0 in his last six starts. "The Mets probably won't agree but my curve ball was ineffective about 50 percent of the time. It was my fast ball that bailed me out. I went to it when I got behind and, fortunately, it saved me. The All-Star break and the long layoff since my last start hampered my control. I haven't walked that many since very early in the season."
He called the strikeout record unimportant. "It really doesn't matter to me," he said.
Mike Torrez (5-9) started for New York and lasted two-thirds of an inning. He gave up five runs on six hits.