Jonathon Niese was back on the mound for the Mets on Sunday in Arizona, making his first start since June 20, recovering from a partial rotator cuff tear. It was not an easy outing but Niese muddled through and the Mets offense came up big as they took the series from the Diamondbacks.
The Mets took an early, big lead. A Juan Lagares single and walks to Ike Davis and Wilmer Flores loaded the bases with two outs in the first. Mike Baxter hit a grounder to Paul Goldschmidt at first that bounced over his glove. The error cleared the bases and gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. Anthony Recker doubled to make it a 4-0 game.
Niese gave one run back in the bottom of the first on an infield single and a double.
Davis led off the third with a single. With one out Baxter singled. Davis advanced to third on a fly out and scored when Omar Quintanilla singled to extend the Mets lead to 5-1.
But Niese was tagged in the bottom of the third. Aaron Hill followed a single and a walk with a three-run home run to cut the score to 5-4.
The Mets broke things open in the seventh. Davis walked and Wilmer Flores singled, and Terry Collins sent Andrew Brown up for Mike Baxter. Brown responded with a three-run shot to make it 8-4.
Jonathon Niese managed to make it through six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, with five strikeouts and a walk. He was hit pretty hard, even on the outs. Still, it was nice to see Niese back with the Mets. Hopefully he can remain healthy for the remainder of the season.
Those extra runs came in handy because Scott Atchison allowed a run in the eighth to get the Diamondbacks within 8-5.
Flores hit his first major league home run in the ninth to make it 9-5.
And that was the final score. Now it’s on to sunny Los Angeles for the Mets. Lucky guys.