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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Niese healthy, but rusty in return

By Adam Rubin

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."