New York Mets: New York Mets

Niese healthy, but rusty in return

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:55
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SEATTLE -- The good news: Jonathon Niese felt healthy.

The bad news: His layoff left him without his customary sharpness.

Niese surrendered four earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in six innings in his return from the disabled list as the Seattle Mariners beat the Mets, 5-2, Monday at Safeco Field.

"My arm felt good -- a little rusty," Niese said. "I could tell I hadn't pitched in a while. I left a lot of balls over the plate. I wasn't very consistent with my delivery. Every mistake I made they got a hit. All in all, the outcome wasn't what I wanted, but my arm feels good."

Niese last had pitched July 4. And that start lasted only a dozen pitches because he was hit in the lower back with a line drive and departed. He officially was on the DL with a left shoulder strain.

"I was itching to get back," Niese said. "I might have been a little too excited. But all in all it's good to get back on the mound healthy."

As for his MLB-high streak of 21 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer ending, Niese added: "I really wasn't thinking about it. It doesn't matter. I was just trying to hit my spots today and I really didn't on a consistent basis. Maybe I can start another streak."

Chris Young leaves game with cramp

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:46
AM ET
SEATTLE -- Left fielder Chris Young departed Monday's 5-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning after experiencing cramping in his left calf.

"I felt it a few steps out of the box and tried to kind of push through it and it seemed like it went away," said Young, who grounded out to end the top half of the inning. "And a few steps before the bag it seemed like it came back. I feel like it was just a cramp. I never had anything in my calf before, so I'm not sure. But just what I felt when I was running down the line, I just felt like it was a cramp.

"Right now it feels normal. I iced it as soon as I came in. I think I made the right decision coming out of the game, for sure, just to try to catch it before anything went wrong. So hopefully with the ice and some rest tonight I show up tomorrow and it feels normal."

Rapid Reaction: Mariners 5, Mets 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:03
AM ET
SEATTLE -- The Mets’ first game in the Pacific Northwest in nine years felt as pleasant as a space needle to the gut.

Jonathon Niese had the longest active streak in the majors of starts allowing three earned runs or fewer snapped and the Mets lost to the Seattle Mariners, 5-2, in Monday’s series opener at Safeco Field.

The Mets (46-53) have lost three of four since play resumed following the All-Star break. They have dropped back into fourth place and now trail the first-place Washington Nationals by nine games in the National League East.

The Amazin's have scored four runs in their last 33 innings.

In his first action since returning from the disabled list, Niese allowed four earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in six innings. That snapped a string of 21 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer, which matched the second-longest streak in franchise history. Dwight Gooden holds the franchise record with 29 straight starts of three earned runs or fewer, spanning 1984 and ’85.

Niese last had pitched July 4 -- and that was only a dozen pitches, because he was struck in the lower back with a line drive and departed. Niese officially was on the DL with a left shoulder strain.

He threw 93 pitches and flashed his normal velocity on Monday.

Happy anniversary: David Wright went 2-for-5 on the 10th anniversary of his July 21, 2004 major league debut. Wright’s two-out RBI single in the third pulled the Mets even at 1.

Robbed: After singling in his first two at-bats, Travis d'Arnaud appeared poised to pull the Mets within 4-2 in the sixth. However, left fielder Dustin Ackley reached over the wall and pulled back a would-be solo homer from d’Arnaud against reliever Dominic Leone.

Ouch: Mariners starter Roenis Elias limited the Mets to one run in 5 1/3 innings. He then departed with an escort from the trainer with what was announced as left forearm cramping.

Relief worker: Daisuke Matsuzaka, bounced from the rotation with Niese’s return, made his first relief appearance since June 17. Matsuzaka entered with two outs and a runner on second base in the seventh and retired Stefen Romero on a foul pop-out. Matsuzaka then surrendered an RBI double to Ackley in the eighth as Seattle upped its lead to 5-2.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.18 ERA) makes his opening start of the second half. DeGrom opposes right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 4.58) at 10:10 p.m. ET.

Minors 7.21.14: Mathieu walk-off HR

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
12:18
AM ET
TACOMA 11, LAS VEGAS 8: Danny Muno's two-run homer in the top of the seventh against Logan Kensing pulled the 51s even at 8, but Zack Thornton surrendered three runs in the bottom half, including a two-run homer to Humberto Quintero. Rehabbing Taylor Teagarden caught a full game and went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and three runs scored. Wilmer Flores went 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 22 games. Box

PORTLAND 6, BINGHAMTON 4: Brandon Nimmo erased a two-run deficit with one swing in the seventh. Following a leadoff single by T.J. Rivera, Nimmo blasted the first pitch he

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saw from reliever Mike McCarthy over the left-center wall to even the score at 3. However, Portland broke the tie in the bottom half against the B-Mets bullpen. After allowing the first two batters he faced to reach, Ryan Fraser departed. Sean Coyle greeted Randy Fontanez by sending a chopper off the plate. The ball bounced high enough to prompt Derrik Gibson to score from third, giving Portland the lead for good. The Sea Dogs kicked their lead to two runs when Blake Swihart scampered home on a wild pitch. Brian Burgamy cut the deficit to 5-4 with a solo homer against McCarthy in the eighth. Burgamy’s 18th homer, and his third in two games, lifted him into a tie with Dustin Lawley for the team lead. The Sea Dogs returned serve yet again in the bottom half, though. Following Ryan Dent's double and a walk to Swihart, defensive replacement and ex-Mets farmhand Stefan Welch laced an RBI single against Fontanez. Robby Scott took over in the ninth and erased Rivera’s leadoff single by inducing Nimmo to bounce into a double play. The southpaw then retired Travis Taijeron to lock down his second save. Fraser (2-2) watched both runs on his tab score under Fontanez’s watch and took the loss. B-Mets starter Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Rivera went 4-for-4 to lift his average to .348. Box

TAMPA 5, ST. LUCIE 2: Danny Oh’s three-run triple in a four-run fifth against Domingo Tapia put Tampa ahead for good. For the second straight day the Mets scored a run in the first and went quietly the rest of the way. Cam Maron’s sacrifice fly against Rafael De Paula put the Mets ahead 1-0. Tapia blanked the Yankees over the first four innings, but ran into trouble in his fifth. Aaron Judge singled and Tapia mishandled a bunt from Angelo Gumbs. The error put runners on first and second. Tapia followed with a walk to Trent Garrison to load the bases. After Tapia struck out Jose Rosario, Oh tripled over the head of center fielder Gilbert Gomez, who was playing shallow, to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Oh scored one batter later when Cito Culver grounded out. The Yankees added a run in the seventh when Greg Bird's two-out infield single against Julian Hilario brought home Rosario. Gomez tripled to plate Eudy Pina in the eighth to make it 5-2. However, the Mets rally was squashed when Jeff McNeil struck out, L.J. Mazzilli grounded out and Maron struck out against Ramon Benjamin. Tapia (4-7) surrendered four runs (two earned) on four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three. Mazzilli was the lone player for either side to have a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-4. The start of the game was delayed by one hour, 50 minutes due to rain. Box

LEXINGTON at SAVANNAH (ppd.): The game will be made up in Lexington later this week as part of a doubleheader.

KINGSPORT 3, PRINCETON 1: Zach Mathieu delivered a walk-off two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Mathieu, a 16th-round pick in 2013 from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, drove in all three K-Mets runs. His seventh-inning sacrifice fly had evened the score at 1. Starter Andrew Massie allowed one run on three hits and three walks in six innings. Matt Blackham, Persio Reyes and Ismael Tijerina (1-0) each contributed a scoreless relief inning. Box

BROOKLYN 5, WILLIAMSPORT 2: Marcos Molina surrendered two first-inning runs, then

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tossed six scoreless frames. Relievers Kelly Secrest and Shane Bay combined to retire the final six Crosscutters in order. Bay earned his sixth save. Michael Katz went 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Cyclones got on the scoreboard with singles by Tucker Tharp, Adrian Abreu and Amed Rosario. The Cyclones took a 3-2 lead an inning later against Williamsport starter David Whitehead. Michael Conforto had a leadoff double. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Katz's bloop single. Tyler Moore's single advanced Katz to third base. Michael Bernal then produced a fielder's choice groundout that plated Katz with the go-ahead run. In the fifth, Abreu and Jhoan Urena singled and Conforto notched his first professional RBI with a single to right-center. Katz then drove in a run with a single down the third-base line. Molina allowed seven hits and a walk and struck out eight in seven innings. Secrest struck out two in a perfect eighth. Box

GCL NATIONALS 8, GCL METS 3: Starter Eucebio Arias allowed five runs (two earned) in two innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Mariners juggle rotation vs. Mets

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
10:00
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Jacob deGrom will, in fact, face right-hander Erasmo Ramirez on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.

But Seattle has a change of plans for Wednesday's series finale. Bartolo Colon originally was listed to face right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 2.95 ERA).

Now, the Mariners will give Iwakuma an extra day of rest. While it has been unannounced, Terry Collins expects right-handed prospect Taijuan Walker called up from Triple-A Tacoma to face the Mets. The 21-year-old Walker has made two major league appearances this season. He has a 4-1 record and 3.76 ERA in eight Pacific Coast League starts this season.

Teagarden rehab shifts to Vegas

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
9:53
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden, who remains on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, had his rehab assignment shift to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday night.

Teagarden had made six appearances in Florida between the Gulf Coast League and Florida State League.

Position players are allowed a maximum of a 20-day rehab assignment. And Teagarden's began July 12. So the team technically has through the end of the month before deciding how to proceed.

A team insider speculated that Anthony Recker, who has an option remaining, would probably remain the major league backup once Teagarden is activated. That would mean Teagarden would have to clear waivers and accept the assignment to be outrighted to Las Vegas.

Mets will watch Niese closely

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
9:46
PM ET
SEATTLE -- While Jonathon Niese does not have a strict pitch count on Monday night, Terry Collins said the staff will watch him closely.

Niese's velocity has been down this season, which partially prompted the Mets to skip his final first-half start and place the southpaw on the disabled list. As a result, Niese takes the mound against the Mariners having not pitched since July 4. And that outing lasted only 12 pitches, because Niese was struck with a line drive in the lower back and was pulled.

So, in reality, Niese has only thrown a dozen pitches since June 28.

"We'll certainly keep a close eye on him," Collins said. "We're hoping that he goes 90 to 100, but we'll wait and see how he looks, how he feels as the game goes on. He says he feels great. I think we'll check in with him throughout the game, especially knowing he's not hitting and he's coming in and sitting every inning."

On 10th anniversary, Wright reminisces

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
9:30
PM ET
SEATTLE -- The celebration of the 10th anniversary of David Wright's major league debut began with a surprise party of sorts thrown by teammates late Sunday night.

Actually, Wright said, it more resembled a roast.

Wright estimated 30 to 40 people in the Mets traveling party joined him for dinner after the team landed in Seattle from San Diego.

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Wright’s debut -- an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium on July 21, 2004.

“They all said, ‘Let’s go out to dinner,’” Wright said before Monday’s series opener against the Mariners at Safeco Field. “I had no idea that it was going to be everybody until we started walking over. I kind of looked behind and there were more people coming. And we sat down and more people started coming. So it was pretty cool.


Adam RubinDavid Wright and "baseball father" Howard Johnson reunite during batting practice Monday at Safeco Field.


“The way they show that they like me is by giving me a hard time,” the captain continued. “It was more of a roast than saying nice things. There were some nice things said, but kind of tongue in cheek.”

Wright said he was surprised by the volume of text messages he received from former teammates, coaches and GMs on Monday recognizing the anniversary.

He suggested the time really has gone by quickly.

“It flies by. It really does fly by,” Wright said. “… It seems like it was very recent running out at Shea Stadium for the first time, first at-bat, those butterflies.”

Two of the early influential people in Wright’s baseball career were quite coincidentally with him on Monday. Howard Johnson, whom Wright used to refer to as his “baseball father,” is now the Mariners hitting coach. HoJo coached Wright at multiple levels in the minors. Jim Duquette, the GM when Wright was promoted in 2004, happens to be on the trip filling in for vacationing Howie Rose on the WOR broadcast team this week.

“He fits on any team in baseball, but he’s really good with the Mets,” HoJo said. “He should be there probably his whole career. He’s been the same guy. He’s always been very humble, understanding the game and the role that he plays in the game. When he was young, he never thought of himself as any better than anybody else. He just went about his business and he wanted to play hard. That’s why he is what he is today, because he understands success can be off and on and it’s not a guarantee.”

Duquette said there had been recommendations from baseball people to jump Wright from Double-A Binghamton to the majors a month earlier in 2004. The Mets chose to have Wright play 31 games at Triple-A Norfolk -- in the backyard of where he grew up in Virginia -- before elevating him to the majors.

“You never know, really, when the right time is,” Duquette said. “We were getting reports from pretty much everybody that he could jump from Binghamton to the major leagues. Then you’re like, ‘OK, he’s close. Let’s just take a little bit more conservative route and send him to Norfolk,’ because obviously his family was there, too. Once he handled that well, it was like the final test. And that kind of pitching, too. You just want to make sure.”

Wright said it is particularly meaningful to have spent the 10 years with one team. He noted the importance to fan bases of having players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones wearing only one uniform in the majors.

“It means a lot to me,” Wright said. “Growing up, my dad used to try to take us to Camden Yards when it first opened. Growing up watching Cal Ripken Jr., I always thought how cool it was for him to wear that one uniform and just the bond that he had with Baltimore and that area. That was always something I never thought I’d get the chance to do, to play in the big leagues. But I always remembered how I thought about that and how cool I thought that was as a kid.

“You look at Tony Gwynn, having come from San Diego. And you look at obviously Derek and Chipper. That’s cool. That’s very cool.”

Of course, physically, Wright’s body at age 31 is not quite the same as at age 21. He is dealing with a nagging left rotator cuff injury that forced him to miss a week and resulted in receiving a cortisone injection entering the All-Star break.

“It’s definitely different,” Wright said. “There are different things I have to do now to prepare. When you’re 21 you can more or less just roll out of bed and get ready for a game. Now, there’s a little more time involved. It’s a little more routine-oriented, where you have to take better care of yourself physically because there are injuries out there that occur. And because of those injuries or preventative things I have to do things differently than I did 10 years ago.”

As for Sunday’s dinner, Wright noted, for once he did not need to pick up the check.

“I tried to help, and I think a lot of these guys split it,” Wright said. “It was nice. Usually it’s the other way around, with me paying.”

Monday's Mets-Mariners lineups

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
5:52
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Here are the lineups for the Mets' 10:10 p.m. ET series opener Monday against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. This marks the Mets' first visit to Seattle since 2005.

Mets
Curtis Granderson, rf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Eric Campbell, 1b
Lucas Duda, dh
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Chris Young, lf
Juan Lagares, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss

Jonathon Niese, lhp

Mariners
Willie Bloomquist, ss
James Jones, cf
Robinson Cano, 2b
Kyle Seager, 3b
Stefen Romero, rf
Justin Smoak, 1b
Corey Hart, dh
Dustin Ackley, lf
Mike Zunino, c
Roenis Elias, lhp

Morning Briefing: Wright's 10th anniversary

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
5:01
AM ET

Keith Torrie/Getty ImagesDavid Wright made his major league debut in this July 21, 2004 game against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. He went 0-for-4.
SAN DIEGO

FIRST PITCH: The captain celebrates an anniversary on Monday.

David Wright made his major league debut on July 21, 2004 against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium, ending a revolving door at third base for the franchise.

The Mets’ lineup that day?

Jose Reyes, 2b
Kazuo Matsui, ss
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Cliff Floyd, lf
Richard Hidalgo, rf
Mike Cameron, cf
Wright, 3b
Vance Wilson, c
Jae Weong Seo, rhp

Wright had been drafted by the organization three years earlier with a compensatory pick (38th overall) for losing Mike Hampton as a free agent to the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets open an interleague series on Monday in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. ET. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to face Cuban rookie left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54).

The Amazin’s lone other trip to Safeco Field came in 2005.

The Mariners staff includes ex-Mets Howard Johnson, Chris Woodward and Jason Phillips.

Read the Mets-Mariners series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy produced a two-out double in the eighth. The Mets tied the score that inning on Wright’s RBI single. However, the Amazin’s lost, 2-1, in walk-off fashion when Josh Edgin stumbled on a chopper off the bat of Seth Smith and could not complete the out at first base in time. Zack Wheeler limited his opponent to one run and logged at least six innings for the fourth straight start. The Mets dropped eight games back in the NL East.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post.

• With Niese (shoulder strain) coming off the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka is relocating to the bullpen and Buddy Carlyle was designated for assignment. Read more at MLB.com and in the Daily News.

• Although the Mets are receptive to trading Bartolo Colon, the buzz in San Diego was that no scouts were specifically there to see the veteran righty on Friday, signaling limited interest. Writes Mike Puma in the Post:

According to a source, as of Sunday the Mets had not yet received even a nibble on the 41-year-old right-hander, who is expendable because of the club’s starting-pitching depth. Over his last four starts, Colon is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. That comes after a strong June in which Colon helped carry the Mets rotation by going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

• Columnist Michael Powell in the Times takes the Mets’ temperature.

Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 21 games and Rafael Montero allowed one run in four innings in his return to Triple-A following a left oblique strain, but Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 3-0. Brian Burgamy had two homers and Dustin Lawley also went deep in Binghamton’s 5-2 win against Trenton. John Gant took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Savannah ultimately swept Lexington in a doubleheader. Corey Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings as Brooklyn blanked Williamsport, 6-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• There are no plans to promote Flores to the majors anytime soon, Terry Collins said. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Bobby Abreu is expected to serve as the designated hitter for the final two games in Seattle.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets player and manager Mike Cubbage turns 64. He currently is a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays ... Mike Bordick is 49.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Have the Mets eroded your optimism with their performance in San Diego?

Series preview: Mets at Mariners

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
11:11
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are expected to face Roenis Elias, Erasmo Ramirez and Hisashi Iwakuma in Seattle.
METS (46-52, third place/NL East) vs. SEATTLE MARINERS (52-46, third place/AL West)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96) vs. LHP Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54), 10:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.18) vs. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 4.58), 10:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 4.12) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 2.95), 3:40 p.m. ET

Mariners short hops

• Ex-Yankee Robinson Cano, who has battled hamstring issues throughout the season, asked for Sunday’s series finale off against the Los Angeles Angels because of continued tightness. He had played 28 innings over the previous two days. Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal in December. Of course, agent Jay Z first dined with Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon. Cano’s .335 average ranks second in the American League, trailing Houston’s Jose Altuve by a point. Cano, 31, also has seven homers and 57 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage in 404 plate appearances. Willie Bloomquist started Sunday in place of Cano at second base.

• After facing Odrisamer Despaigne on Sunday in San Diego, the Mets will see a second straight Cuban rookie in the series opener in Seattle. Roenis Elias, 25, is 7-8 with a 4.54 ERA in 19 starts. Elias reportedly defected four years ago aboard a raft after a middling, brief career in his native country. He spent 30 hours at sea before landing in Mexico.

• Closer Fernando Rodney, bidding for his 200th career save, failed to convert the five-out opportunity Sunday in a 6-5 walk-off loss to the Angels. Rodney still has an AL-leading 27 saves.


Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsHoward Johnson is the hitting coach for the Mariners.


• Although officially undeclared, Erasmo Ramirez is expected to return from Triple-A to start Tuesday against the Mets while rookie Taijuan Walker gets more seasoning in the minors.

Logan Morrison and Justin Smoak have split the first-base duties of late, with neither putting up acceptable numbers. Smoak (.210) had spent more than three weeks on the DL with a left quadriceps strain, then was optioned to Triple-A on July 4 when deemed healthy. He returned when right fielder Michael Saunders landed on the DL a week later. Morrison, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins in December, is hitting only .222 with five homers in 144 at-bats.

• The Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays reportedly are in discussions regarding David Price and Ben Zobrist.

• Seattle’s coaching staff has a distinct Mets accent. Hitting coach Howard Johnson formerly held that role with the Mets and was a central piece of the 1986 championship club. Pitching coach Rick Waits formerly was minor-league pitching coordinator for the Mets. Rich Donnelly managed the Brooklyn Cyclones the past three seasons. He was hired by the Mariners to manage Triple-A and ascended to the major league staff when John Stearns, another ex-Met, had to step down as third-base coach because of a slow recovery from hernia surgery. Mariners infield coach Chris Woodward played for the Mets in 2005 and ’06. Even Seattle bullpen catcher Jason Phillips is an ex-Met, having played for the club from 2001 through ’04.

The connections don’t stop there. Endy Chavez is a backup outfielder.

• Ex-Met John Buck, who was backing up Mike Zunino, was released during the All-Star break. He was hitting .226 with one homer and six RBIs in 84 at-bats.

• The Mets will miss facing Felix Hernandez during the series. He possesses an AL-best 2.02 ERA. They also will miss ex-Mets right-hander Chris Young, who pitched Sunday. Young is 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts).

• Shortstop Nick Franklin, who became expendable in a trade once the Mariners signed Cano and committed to using Brad Miller at shortstop, has struggled after a torrid start at Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old Franklin was 6-for-47 at the major league level during cameos in April and May with the club. He currently is back in the Pacific Coast League. Miller, meanwhile, is hitting only .204.

Wheels continues to deal for Mets

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
9:50
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- One silver lining in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres, aside from avoiding getting no-hit?

Zack Wheeler has a 1.42 ERA in his past four starts. He has limited opponents to one run and completed at least six innings in each of those appearances.

The lone damage against Wheeler in a six-inning, 106-pitch performance Sunday came when Yasmani Grandal golfed a low offering over the right-center wall for a solo shot in the fourth that opened the game’s scoring.

Wheeler was making his first appearance since July 11 -- before the All-Star break.

“I finished strong and I tried to carry the confidence over and keep doing the same thing that I finished up doing,” Wheeler said. “I felt good. My command was a little off and I wish I didn’t let up that run, but sometimes you’ve got to give the hitter credit. Grandal hit a really good pitch. I wish we would have pulled this one out today.”

On the homer location, Wheeler added: “It was a good pitch -- down. It was in the middle of the plate, though, but it was down. I came back and looked at it on some video. He just did a nice job of hitting.”

Wheeler, of course, was outdueled by Odrisamer Despaigne, who took a no-hit bid two outs into the eighth. Wheeler was spared a loss when Daniel Murphy doubled and David Wright followed with a game-tying RBI single that inning.

The Mets suffered a walk-off loss in the ninth.

“This was one of those things that you’ve got to go out there and keep trying to put up zeroes,” Wheeler said. “You know our bats will eventually come around. They did and they got me off the hook.”

Minors 7.20.14: Oswalt blanks Cutters

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
9:33
PM ET
SALT LAKE 3, LAS VEGAS 0: Caleb Clay went the distance in a three-hit shutout for the Bees. Rafael Montero allowed one run on five hits and three walks in four innings in his first Triple-A appearance since June 14. Montero had been dealing with a strained left oblique. Wilmer Flores went 1-for-4 with a seventh-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. That is the longest streak by a Las Vegas player since J.P. Arencibia had a 21-game streak in 2010 while Vegas was affiliated with the Blue Jays. The Vegas record is 37 games by Joey Cora in 1989. Erik Goeddel allowed two runs in the sixth. Box

BINGHAMTON 5, TRENTON 2: Brian Burgamy belted a pair of two-run homers and Dustin Lawley contributed his team-leading 18th long ball. With Kyle Johnson on second base,

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Burgamy launched the first pitch he saw from Dan Camarena in the first inning into the rail yard beyond the left-field wall. Burgamy snapped an 0-for-18 drought with the shot. Lawley followed by lining an 0-1 pitch just over the left-field fence, giving Binghamton a 3-0 lead. Burgamy struck again in the fifth. After Dilson Herrera ripped his first triple as a B-Met, Burgamy blistered the first pitch he saw off the message board in left field for his 17th homer and a 5-0 lead. B-Mets starter Greg Peavey retired the first five Thunder batters he faced before surrendering a double to Tyler Austin. Peavey responded by retiring 13 of the next 14 batters he faced. Trenton threatened in the seventh, putting the first two aboard via a hit batter and a single. Peavey rebounded with consecutive strikeouts before Francisco Arcia looped a single to shallow left. Rob Segedin scampered home from second with Trenton’s first run before Gary Sanchez was nabbed at third on the play. The Thunder pulled within three runs in the eighth against reliever Jack Leathersich. After Casey Stevenson advanced to third on a double play, Ben Gamel lined an RBI single. Cody Satterwhite worked around a two-out single in a scoreless ninth to secure his eighth save. Peavey (7-1) allowed one run on four hits while collecting seven strikeouts over seven innings. Box

TAMPA 4, ST. LUCIE 1: The Mets mustered five hits, with their lone run coming on a two-out homer in the first inning from L.J. Mazzilli. Aderlin Rodriguez hit a ground-rule double later in the first, but the Mets ultimately stranded the bases loaded when Miguel Sulbaran got Gavin Cecchini to ground into a fielder's choice. Tampa relievers Jacob Lindgren, Brett Gerritse and Cesar Vargas held the Mets to one hit over four innings. Dante Bichette Jr. gave the Yankees the lead for good with an opposite-field two-run homer over the short porch in right field in the fourth. Eric Jagielo lined a homer just fair in the right-field corner and chased starter Luis Cessa in the sixth inning while making the score 3-1. Cessa pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out six. Danny Oh added an RBI single against Robert Coles in the seventh. Box

SAVANNAH 5, LEXINGTON 0
SAVANNAH 3, LEXINGTON 1: John Gant came within five outs of a seven-inning no-hitter

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Gant
in Game 1. He notched his second seven-inning shutout of the season. Gant allowed one hit and one walk while striking out eight to earn his 10th win. With one out in the sixth, Lexington second baseman Carlos Garcia rolled a single through the right side of the infield. The Gnats plated three runs in the third inning. Yeixon Ruiz produced a two-run homer and Nelfi Zapata added an RBI double. In the fifth, Dominic Smith drove in two runs as part of a 3-for-3 game. In Game 2, Smith singled in a run in the fifth to complete the game's scoring. Savannah starter Alex Panteliodis held the Legends to one run in six innings. The lone run he allowed came on a lengthy homer by Legends first baseman Fred Ford. Matt Oberste singled in both games to extend his hitting streak to 20 games, the third-longest streak in the South Atlantic League this season. Box 1, Box 2

KINGSPORT 7, PRINCETON 3: Starter Andrew Church limited Princeton to two unearned runs in six innings. Pedro Perez's two-run homer in the sixth gave the K-Mets a 3-2 lead. Oswald Caraballo had a two-run double in a three-run seventh. Box

BROOKLYN 6, WILLIAMSPORT 0: Corey Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings and

lastname
Oswalt
combined with Scarlyn Reyes on a two-hit shutout. In a two-run first, Amed Rosario reached on an error by Williamsport starter Ricardo Pinto. Jhoan Urena singled to push Rosario to second base. First-round pick Michael Conforto advanced both runners on a groundout. Michael Katz followed with a routine line drive at left fielder Jiandido Tromp. The ball hit off the heel of Tromp's glove and dropped. Two runs scored on the two-base error. The Cyclones upped their lead to 5-0 in the second inning. Tomas Nido contributed an RBI single and Urena had a two-run double. Williamsport’s fifth error of the game came when shortstop Emmanuel Marrero could not track down a two-out grounder by Michael Bernal in the fifth. Conforto, who went 2-for-4 and started in left field in his second professional game, scored from second base on the play. Box

Compiled with team reports

Edgin, Black dissect 9th-inning stumble

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
8:53
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- Josh Edgin had a simple explanation for his inability to field Seth Smith's two-out chopper in the bottom of the ninth, which allowed Cameron Maybin to score the winning run.

“I stumbled,” Edgin said after San Diego’s 2-1 win Sunday at Petco Park. “It’s one of those things. It just happened to be at the end of the game where it kind of meant a little more.”

Edgin noted that his mechanics initially took him away from the two-hopper, which traveled just to the first-base side of the mound.


Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsJosh Edgin's shovel throw to first base is too late after he initially stumbled on Seth Smith's chopper.


“I fall off to the third-base side, so when I turn around I’ve got to pick the ball up,” the southpaw said. “It’s one of those no-man’s-land plays, for me anyway. It just happened.”

Even after stumbling on top of the ball, Edgin still had a chance to retire Smith at first base and force extra innings. But he did not initially pick up the ball cleanly. His eventual shovel throw was too late.

“I rolled over it and it was on the ground,” Edgin said. “When I went down to snatch it, I missed it. If I would have got it the first time I would have got him out.”

Daniel Murphy said he was unsure what would have happened if Edgin had not touched the ball and had given the second baseman an opportunity to make the play.

“It’s tough to say,” Murphy said. “Do I have a shot? Yeah. I don’t know how good of a one it is, because once he kind of hit it, I was unable to judge the velocity of the ball. Until it gets past the pitcher’s mound, I can’t tell exactly how hard it is.”

Edgin’s faux pas wasn’t the only pitcher fielding letdown in the decisive ninth inning.

After issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth to Carlos Quentin, Vic Black misplayed Alexi Amarista's sacrifice-bunt attempt to put two men on base with none out. Quentin had been replaced by Maybin as the pinch runner.

“I kicked my glove and I just missed it,” Black said. “I was thinking two off the mound and I heard, ‘One.’ I got in a hurry and literally kicked my glove over the ball.”

Black noted that pitcher fielding practice is something he does earnestly.

“It’s definitely something I don’t take lightly,” he said.

He more lamented the leadoff walk.

“The walk is what killed me,” Black said. “Those leadoff walks are tough.”

Carlyle DFA'd to clear Niese spot

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
8:14
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- The Mets have designated right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle for assignment to clear the roster spot for Monday's activation of Jonathon Niese from the disabled list.

Carlyle, 36, has produced a 1.29 ERA in five major league appearances this season.

He also was outrighted to Las Vegas on June 7 after clearing waivers. That time, Carlyle accepted the assignment to Triple-A.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.288 7 37 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 14
RBID. Wright 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .829
WB. Colon 8
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112