Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Inching Closer

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Inching Closer

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - From disaster to a winning streak.

Despite starter Jon Niese recording just one out, the Mets held off the Cardinals for a 7-4 win Tuesday night in the first game of this important three-game set at Busch Stadium. Robert Gsellman threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his major league debut as part of a bullpen that yielded just one run.

Five players recorded RBI, and the Mets (63-62) have won three straight games for the first time since July 2-4.

The momentum the Mets grabbed from Wilmer Flores' three-run homer in the first lasted for less than 20 minutes, as Niese had to leave after just 21 pitches.

Niese has an aching left knee that he's pitched with, and it didn't flare up when he warmed up in the bullpen. Three of the first four batters then reached in the first, with two earning walks and Brandon Moss delivering an RBI single.

After Moss' hit, Niese departed and the Mets turned to Gsellman, who'd been promoted to take Steven Matz's spot on the roster, and to provide insurance in case Niese couldn't pitch deep into an outing. Seth Lugo had been serving as the team's long man, but moved into the rotation due to Matz's left shoulder discomfort. The team is hopeful Matz can return next week, possibly Tuesday.

Gsellman primarily served as a starter in the minors, and Niese's early exit made his first appearance with the team nearly amount to a start. The right-hander put himself in two jams, but did well by holding the Cardinals scoreless on just two hits while walking three.

The first pitch Gsellman tossed resulted in an RBI double by Yadier Molina, and Jhonny Peralta followed with an RBI groundout that evened the game at 3. Both runs were charged to Niese and Gsellman stranded the go-ahead run at second.

In the third and fourth innings, the Cardinals put two runners on with two outs, but Gsellman escaped both situations. …

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