Mets' Niese comes off DL, beats D-backs

Jonathan Dalton, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Jonathon Niese almost forgot what it was like to pitch without pain.
"It was good to get back out there with all the guys," Niese said after the New York Mets' 9-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. He was making his first appearance after missing nearly two months due to a partially torn left rotator cuff. "It's good to go back to (being pain-free). I'm glad it felt good there today. We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but I anticipate everything should be fine."
Niese (4-6) returned from the disabled list and allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out five.
"He got better as the game went on," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I thought he got comfortable and threw the ball very, very well."
Wilmer Flores hit his first career home run and Andrew Brown also homered for the Mets, who have won five of six.
"It's sound baseball right now," said New York first baseman Ike Davis, who went 1-for-2 with three walks and scored three runs. "It was a good series for us, on the road and beating a good team. It's definitely what we've needed."
Zeke Spruill, pitching on nine days' rest, struggled from the outset and allowed five runs (one earned) on six hits in three innings. Spruill (0-2) struck out one and walked two.
Spruill couldn't pitch his way out of trouble in the first.
Juan Lagares reached on a one-out single but was forced at second by Daniel Murphy for the second out. Spruill walked Davis and Flores and appeared safe when Mike Baxter hit a grounder down the first base line. The ball, however, bounced off the top of Paul Goldschmidt's glove and rolled down the line as all three runners scored.
"I just missed it" said Goldschmidt, who has five errors this season. "I was in position right there. It's a play I make every time, and right there I didn't. It hurt us."
Baxter came home on a single to left by Anthony Recker to make the score 4-0.
"The first two games of the series they took hits away from us right and left, so it's pretty surprising when (Goldschmidt) doesn't catch the ball," Collins said. "We took advantage of their mistakes in the first inning, there's no question."
The Diamondbacks got a run back in the bottom of the first when A.J. Pollock reached on an infield single and scored on a double by Aaron Hill.
The Mets answered in the third as Omar Quintanilla singled home Davis for a 5-1 lead.
Hill again brought Arizona close, hitting a three-run homer to left off Niese to pull Arizona within 5-4. It was Hill's second home run in as many games.
"We had a terrible first inning today," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "We battled back, but the bullpen was unable to shut them down."
Brown's pinch-hit home run off Will Harris in the seventh gave the Mets an 8-4 lead.
Arizona got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Cliff Pennington singled home Gerardo Parra.
Flores homered with one out in the ninth off Heath Bell, giving him at least one RBI in five straight games and nine RBIs in his first six career games.
NOTES: Diamondbacks LF Cody Ross left the game in the first with a dislocated right hip. Ross stumbled while running out a grounder to third and fell face-first just beyond the first base bag. He rolled onto his back and remained down for several minutes before being taken off the field on a cart. ... To clear a roster spot for Niese, the Mets optioned RHP Jeremy Hefner to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... New York's four first-inning runs were its most since a five-run first against the Yankees on May 29. ... Niese earned his first win since May 16 at St. Louis. ... Hill also homered in consecutive games April 6 and 7 at Milwaukee. ... Arizona recalled 3B Matt Davidson and LHP Eury de la Rosa from Triple-A Reno before the game and placed 3B Eric Chavez on the 15-day disabled list with unspecified hip and knee injuries. Davidson singled in the sixth for his first career hit. De La Rosa retired the only batter he faced in the eighth. ... Arizona CF A.J. Pollock matched a career high with three hits.

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