Niese, Campbell lead Mets over Pirates 5-3
PITTSBURGH (AP) — There were smiles all around in the New York Mets’ clubhouse Saturday.
After a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Mets got good news on third baseman David Wright’s sore left shoulder: There was no structural damage in the joint.
Jonathon Niese extended his streak of solid starts with six gritty innings, rookie Eric Campbell had three hits while subbing for Wright as the Mets spoiled Gerrit Cole’s return from the disabled list.
“I think it’s important with (Wright) out that a bunch of other people need to step up and today we had timely hitting and timely pitching and were able to get a W, which was nice,” Campbell said.
The Mets said Wright had a bruised left rotator cuff. He will be treated with anti-inflammatories before being reevaluated on Monday. For now, the Mets think Wright can avoid a trip to the DL.
“They want to see if it feels better after a couple days’ rest,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “If he’s still feeling the same, we’ll reassess it at that time.”
Niese (5-4) gave up three runs and scattered seven hits. It was his 20th straight outing without allowing more than three runs, dating to last season.
“I told (pitching coach Dan Warthen) when I came out that I was the worst pitcher in the world in the fourth and fifth innings, the dumbest pitcher in the world but was pretty in the other innings,” Niese said.
Niese was handed a 5-0 lead by the middle of the second inning, but he nearly squandered it by issuing consecutive bases-loaded walks to Pedro Alvarez and Chris Stewart in the fourth and an RBI single to Neil Walker in the fifth that made it a two-run game.
Neise, however, made it through the sixth, Jeurys Familia followed with two perfect innings and Jenrry Mejia pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
“Jon went back out there and battled after that fourth inning, even though he didn’t have good stuff,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Campbell drove in the first run in a three-run first inning with a double off Cole (6-4). Daniel Murphy capped the Mets’ scoring with a two-run single with two outs in the second.
Cole, who leads the Pirates in victories, lasted just four innings. Activated from the DL earlier Saturday, he was tagged for five runs and seven hits. Cole had been out since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue.
“I think it would have been a lot better if I were to have taken less focus off the hitters and put more on myself and not tried to do too much,” Cole said. “I think I was a little too results oriented, trying to avoid this trying to do this, trying to do that.”
After Campbell hit his RBI double in the first, Lucas Duda scored on a wild pitch and Kirk Nieuwenhuis capped the inning by singling in a run.
Niese lost the strike zone in fourth but was able to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out pinch-hitter Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.
“That at-bat against Marte, I was just trying to get a strike,” Niese said. “Once I got a strike, I was able to relax and get guys out.”
NOTES: RHP Brandon Cumpton was optioned by Pittsburgh to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Cole. ... RHP Ernesto Frieri joined the Pirates a day after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade for RHP Jason Grilli and pitched a perfect inning of relief. . Marte was unable to start for the fourth consecutive game because of a jammed middle finger and the pinch-hitting appearance was the first time he batted since being injured Tuesday. ... The Mets had Niese bat eighth and LF Eric Young Jr. hit ninth, marking the third time in the last seven games manager Terry Collins had the pitcher hit No. 8. ... The four-game series concludes Sunday with New York RHP Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.67) attempting to win his seventh straight decision as he faces RHP Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35).