Jonathon Niese nearly got knocked out in the first inning Saturday night. He ended up settling down, but the hole was too deep for the Mets to climb out.
Niese surrendered five runs on six hits in a 39-pitch first inning that prompted Terry Collins to have Scott Atchison begin warming. The Cleveland Indians ultimately beat the Mets, 9-4, at Progressive Field.
New York Mets
Niese ended up logging six innings, saving the bullpen from overwork, which is particularly important with unreliable Daisuke Matsuzaka due to start the series finale. The southpaw allowed only one more run -- on a second-inning solo homer by Nick Swisher.
Trailing 6-1, the Mets mounted a sixth-inning comeback bid after Indians starter Corey Kluber departed.
Justin Turner produced a two-run double against Vinnie Pestano, his former Cal State Fullerton teammate. Juan Lagares then delivered a run-scoring single as the Mets pulled within 6-4 with a three-run sixth.
Lagares extended his hitting streak to 12 games. It marks the longest hitting streak by a Mets rookie since Jose Reyes had a 17-game streak in 2003.
The Indians regained control in the seventh. Asdrubal Cabrera snapped an 0-for-19 drought with a three-run homer against Atchison to reopen a five-run lead.
What’s next: Matsuzaka (0-3, 10.95 ERA) faces rookie right-hander Danny Salazar (1-2, 3.00) in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. finale. Matsuzaka had asked for his release from the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate immediately preceding signing with the Mets.