Niese rebounds with better outing, but Mets lose to D-backs
PHOENIX (AP) -- Jonathon Niese's best outing in a month for the New York Mets went to waste.
Niese took a lead into the sixth inning, but the Mets lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Friday night.
"Jon had really good stuff tonight," New York manager Terry Collins said. "He worked both sides of the plate. That was more effective. He used his changeup. That was more effective. He threw some breaking balls. I thought he threw the ball well, but we couldn't get many runs to work with."
Jeremy Hellickson pitched six innings to earn his fourth straight win.
A.J. Pollock had three hits, two of them doubles. He drove in two runs and scored twice for the Diamondbacks.
Arizona trailed 2-1 through five innings. Paul Goldschmidt singled home Pollock with the tying run in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run from first when Yasmany Tomas doubled down the left-field line. Arizona broke it open with four runs in the eighth.
Niese (3-6) was 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his previous four starts. This time, he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
"It is a step in the right direction," he said. "I felt really good. I felt mechanically I was pretty sound today. I made some good pitches. Unfortunately at the end they made the adjustment and put some good swings on pretty good pitches and came out on top."
The loss again dropped the Mets out of first place in the NL East after a one-day return to the top spot.
Hellickson (4-3) allowed two runs, one on Michael Cuddyer's homer. The right-hander gave up six hits, striking out six and walking three.
Eric Campbell snapped an 0-for-28 skid with an RBI single that put New York up 2-1 in the fourth. The hit scored Wilmer Flores, who had doubled down the left-field line.
The Mets went on to load the bases when Hellickson walked Niese, but Curtis Granderson struck out to end the inning.
In the Arizona eighth, Granderson couldn't hold on to make a diving catch of Ender Inciarte's leadoff triple to right. Pollock followed with an RBI single.
Cuddyer's sixth home run of the season, a shot to left, put the Mets up 1-0 in the second inning. Pollock tied it with an RBI infield single in the third.
Tomas, making his first outfield appearance of the season, saved at least one run with a running stab of Anthony Recker's sharp liner to right in the fourth.
In his Arizona debut, catcher Welington Castillo - acquired in the trade that sent Mark Trumbo to Seattle - struck out four times.
No Met reached base after the fifth.
A downpour during the game caused the Chase Field roof to leak, resulting in a steady drip on the mound.
"I am looking at the signs and water is dripping right in front of me," Niese said. "If I noticed it, I am sure the hitters were noticing it. There was kind of a big puddle on the mound. It kind of collected water on the mound. All of a sudden I felt some drops on my arm."
The leaks also created a puddle in front of the backstop, and a few fans in the nearby seats had to move. The roof, built mainly to keep out the heat, has leaked in the same area during severe rain in the past.
"They left the faucet on," Arizona reliever Daniel Hudson said.
Mets: 2B-3B Daniel Murphy was placed on the 15-day DL with a left quad strain, and INF Danny Muno was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Murphy is the 14th Mets player to go on the DL this season. ... Rookie C Kevin Plawecki was out with a virus. He is day to day.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin, coming off Tommy John surgery, will make a rehab start Monday for Class A Visalia. ... C Tuffy Gosewisch underwent surgery to repair a torn left ACL.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-3, 4.72 ERA), tied for the major league lead in wins, faces Arizona in the third game of the four-game series Saturday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Chase Anderson (1-1, 3.26) seeks his second win in 11 starts this season.
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