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Niese sparks rally, continues to stifle Phillies

Lefty sharp in 7 innings, notches 10th straight quality start vs. Philadelphia
Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Jon Niese never doubted he was staying in the game Saturday night. The Mets' starter had allowed two unearned runs over six innings on a very manageable pitch count. He had dominated the Phillies for much of the game, and who better to start a seventh-inning rally?

"My pitch count was down and we had three innings left," said Niese, who hit a leadoff single and then scored on a Juan Lagares' one-out home run in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Phillies. "It's much appreciated.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Jon Niese never doubted he was staying in the game Saturday night. The Mets' starter had allowed two unearned runs over six innings on a very manageable pitch count. He had dominated the Phillies for much of the game, and who better to start a seventh-inning rally?

"My pitch count was down and we had three innings left," said Niese, who hit a leadoff single and then scored on a Juan Lagares' one-out home run in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Phillies. "It's much appreciated.

Full Game Coverage

"When I got done with the [sixth] inning, I grabbed my hitting stuff. I figured I was hitting."

Niese wasn't in the lineup to ignite rallies. The veteran lefty is having the best start of his career, and raised his record to 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA on Saturday. He's dominated the Phillies over his career and is the first pitcher since Greg Maddux (1989-92) to throw 10 consecutive quality starts against Philadelphia. He's 10-6 lifetime against the Phillies with a 2.64 ERA.

On Saturday, he scattered five hits and kept the Phillies on their heels from the first pitch of the night.

"A tremendous game pitched by Jon Niese," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "In the seventh, it should have been 1-0. He was still throwing the ball really good. He deserved to go back out there and hit.

"If he has his curveball, he gets outs, and he gets them easy, too."

In the sixth, Niese gave up a pair of unearned runs after second baseman Dilson Herrera misplayed a ground ball to lead off the inning. The Phillies didn't get a runner to second base in the rest of Niese's outing.

"I was able to establish my fastball inside and everything flowed off of that," said Niese, who struck out six. "It's a great win. Juan had a big hit there. Our defense made some really great plays. This is a good overall win.

"This is the best I've felt in years. It's good knowing that I can get deep in games. That has a lot to do with my offseason workouts and my arm feels great and hopefully I can keep it going."

Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Mets, Jon Niese