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.
New York Mets
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.