Sports

Niese keeps Mets close, but falls to Braves

NEW YORK - Jonathon Niese extended his run of fine starts in August by pitching into the eighth inning Thursday night. Too bad for the Mets' left-hander that Mike Minor did the same for Atlanta.

Niese gave up a double and single to Minor, and the Braves beat New York 6-1.

Niese (7-10) allowed three runs and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings.

"For the majority of it, I was able to keep the ball down all night," Niese said. "That last inning I left the ball up. Minor is a good hitter and if you leave a ball up, he's going to get a pretty good swing on it. He's dangerous."

Minor (6-8) was perfect for four innings before Lucas Duda led off the fifth with a single that just barely touched the glove of a leaping Andrelton Simmons.

The Mets did not have a runner in scoring position until Travis d'Arnaud opened the eighth with a double. Eric Campbell followed with an RBI single, ending Minor's night.

"Any day you face the Braves, you're going to face a pretty good pitcher," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "He threw a lot of fastballs — some were straight, some cut and some sank. His fastball command was excellent."

Wright was 0 for 4 in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a muscle spasm on the right side of his neck.

The Mets could only generate four hits against Minor and a pair of relievers. The Mets only had six runs in the three-game series against Atlanta.

"You have to start seeing consistent at-bats, that's how you're going to start scoring runs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're going pretty quietly right now and we got to change that."

Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit homered in a three-run ninth off Daisuke Matsuzaka, who came off the disabled list.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: LHP Jonny Venters has been shut down for the remainder of the year after a visit with Dr. James Andrews revealed a tear in his elbow. Venters was rehabbing following his second Tommy John reconstructive surgery.

Mets: Prior to the game, the Mets placed RHP Vic Black on the 15-day DL with a herniated disc in his neck. ... After the game, the team placed 2B Daniel Murphy on the 15-day DL with a strained right calf and promoted infielder Dilson Herrera from Binghamton.

UP NEXT

Mets: Philadelphia will visit for a three-game series starting Friday night. RHP Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13) pitches against Phillies RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21) in a matchup of rookie pitchers. On May 31, deGrom faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark, giving up three runs and striking out 11 over 6 1-3 innings in a no-decision. The Mets handed Buchanan his first major league loss on May 29 and defeated the rookie a second time on Aug. 11.

DeGROM DELIVERED

Prior to the game, the Mets presented RHP Jacob deGrom with his National League Rookie of the Month Award for July after the rookie went 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA in five starts.

POWER TURNED OUT

The Mets failed to hit a home run ending their streak at eight games.


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