Jonathon Niese pitched a three-hitter and lined a game-breaking three-run double Tuesday night as the New York Mets ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0.
Niese struck out five and walked one in his second career shutout in 112 major league starts. The Mets took advantage of several poor throws to win several hours after trading veterans Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh.
It was Byrd T-shirt giveaway night at Citi Field. Minus the team’s RBIs leader, Niese (6-6) handled matters at the plate and on the mound. He retired 17 straight batters and scored the first run by running through third base coach Tim Teufel’s late stop sign.
Niese improved to 3-0 in four starts since coming off the disabled list because of a partially torn rotator cuff. After Michael Young led off the second inning with a single, the left-hander didn’t permit another runner until Young doubled to begin the eighth.
Niese’s other shutout came in 2010. He popped his left hand into his mitt after Chase Utley flied out to finish this one on his 113th pitch.
The Phillies had won five of their last six under interim manager Ryne Sandberg, yet looked punchless against Niese. Then again, neither team had a player in the starting lineup batting above .276.
Pitching a day after his 29th birthday, Kyle Kendrick (10-11) went six innings and allowed five runs, only one of them earned. He made a wild pickoff toss to second base, too.
Kendrick had won all three of his starts against the Mets this year. But he hasn’t done well lately overall, going 1-5 in his last seven starts.
Niese toted a .162 career average to the batter’s box in the third and earned a one-out walk on a 3-2 pitch. He moved up on a bunt by Eric Young Jr. and then took off on Daniel Murphy’s single, easily beating an off-target throw home by right fielder John Mayberry Jr.
A wild throw by first baseman Kevin Frandsen helped the Mets load the bases in a four-run sixth. Travis d’Arnaud lofted a fly to medium-shallow center field, and Andrew Brown scored without a problem on Roger Bernadina’s weak throw home.
Niese came up with two outs after an intentional walk and lined a bases-loaded double to the gap in left-center field. The three RBIs on that hit matched his combined total from the past three years.
NOTES: Phillies OF Domonic Brown was out with a sore right heel. He hasn’t started since being pulled from Saturday’s game. Sandberg said Brown ”still feels it” but ”seems to be getting better.” … The Mets said RHP Jeremy Hefner will soon have Tommy John surgery. He got a second opinion from noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews before making the decision. … Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.62) starts Wednesday night vs. Mets RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, hit hard by Detroit on Friday in his season debut. … Kendrick made his 150th career start and is 64-53. He has not pitched past the sixth inning in his last eight starts.