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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Niese nets tough-luck loss

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- Jonathon Niese has a 2.68 ERA at Citi Field this season. He also has a 3-5 record at home, which speaks to the Mets' struggles to score runs in their own ballpark.

The latest case: Niese limited the San Francisco Giants to two runs in seven innings on Thursday afternoon, and the Mets lost the rubber game, 2-1.

Niese has now posted a 3.06 ERA in eight starts since returning from a partially torn rotator cuff.

Terry Collins said Niese would have continued beyond seven innings, but Collins felt compelled to pinch hit after Omar Quintanilla reached with two outs in that inning with the Mets trailing by a run.

"Obviously I wasn't see the ball well up there," Niese said with a laugh about his hitting. "Obviously I needed a pinch hitter. But it's a tough one."

Asked about what pleases him most since his return from a nearly two-month DL stint, Niese said: "Just being able to establish all of my pitches. I've been able to throw them all for strikes. I'm throwing the cutter on both sides of the plate. I'm getting the fastball on both sides of the plate. It's just been good. A lot more control with my arm feeling a lot better."