Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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Mets' Niese Beats Cold, Phillies

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[April 30, 2014]  PHILADELPHIA  Tuesday night's raw, blustery conditions at Citizens Bank Park proved to be a far greater challenge for New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese than the Philadelphia Phillies.

Niese allowed four hits over seven strong innings as the Mets beat the Phillies 6-1.

Second baseman Daniel Murphy went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and shortstop Ruben Tejada drove in two runs for the Mets (15-11), who won for the fifth time in six games.

First pitch was delayed one hour and 28 minutes by rain, and the game-time temperature was just 46 degrees. Showers, which were heavy at times and buffeted by a stiff breeze, continued throughout the night.

Niese (2-2) nonetheless held the Phillies without a hit until right fielder Marlon Byrd blasted a solo homer with two outs in the fourth. First baseman Ryan Howard followed with a single, but the only other hits Niese allowed were a two-out single by second baseman Chase Utley in the sixth and a one-out single by catcher Carlos Ruiz in the seventh.

Niese, who won his second consecutive start, gave up one run, struck out five and walked one.

"It was another cold one," he said, "but it seems like the more I pitch in cold weather, the more I figure out how to stay warm."


Between innings he would huddle around the heater in the dugout, or work the hand-warmers in his jacket pockets. One other thing.

"Just keep moving," he said. "Not try to stay in one spot for a long time."

The result was his seventh victory over the Phillies in 13 career decisions, his most victories over any team.

While Niese successfully battled the elements, Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels (0-2) said the weather "got the best" of him. He was particularly affected by the frosty temperatures, which caused him to lose his feel for the baseball. As a result, he allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.

Hamels, making his second start of the season and his first at home after missing three weeks with biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm, struck out three and walked five, one shy of his career high. He also hit a batter while failing in his bid to win his 100th career game.

"I'm truly embarrassed," he said, "because I didn't really give anyone a chance, because balls weren't even being put in play, because I wasn't able to allow them to be put in play. ... When you're walking that many guys and allowing the runs to score, you don't give your team a chance to win in that case."

Hamels is now 7-14 in 27 career starts against the Mets. His .333 winning percentage against New York is his lowest against any opponent.

"This is definitely a game you don't want to remember," he said.

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The Phillies (13-13) saw their two-game winning streak end, and they failed in their bid to go two games over .500 for the first time since October 2012.

The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Murphy, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

New York tacked on two more runs in the third. First baseman Josh Satin hit a run-scoring single, and Niese coaxed a bases-loaded walk from Hamels, the fourth base on balls issued by the Phillies left-hander in the inning.

Byrd's two-out homer in the fourth, the Phillies' first hit of the night, made it 3-1. New York answered with three more runs in the fifth, on a single by center fielder Chris Young and Tejada's two-run double.

NOTES: Phillies C Carlos Ruiz was selected the National League Player of the Week for April 21-27 after hitting .500 with a homer and seven RBIs. ... Philadelphia RHP Roberto Hernandez, normally the No. 5 starter in the rotation, appeared in relief Tuesday. Manager Ryne Sandberg said beforehand that Hernandez would skip his usual turn Friday against the Washington Nationals because the team has two scheduled off days this week. ... Sandberg also said OF/1B Darin Ruf, who has yet to play this season because of an oblique strain, is taking batting practice in Clearwater, Fla., and will begin seeing action in extended spring training later this week. ... With a stolen base in the fifth inning, New York 2B Daniel Murphy extended his string of successful steal attempts, already the second-longest streak in franchise history, to 28. Kevin McReynolds stole 33 straight from 1987-89.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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