PITTSBURGH – Jonathon Niese extended his streak of solid starts with six gritty innings, rookie Eric Campbell had three hits while subbing for injured star third baseman David Wright and the New York Mets spoiled Gerrit Cole’s return from the disabled list Saturday with a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Campbell was filling in for Wright, the seven-time All-Star who returned to New York to undergo an MRI Saturday on his sore left shoulder.
After the game, the Mets said Wright had a bruised left rotator cuff. He will be treated with anti-inflammatories before being reevaluated on Monday. For now, the Mets think Wright can avoid a trip to the DL.
“They want to see if it feels better after a couple days’ rest,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “If he’s still feeling the same, we’ll reassess it at that time.”
Niese (5-4) gave up three runs and scattered seven hits. It was his 20th straight outing without allowing more than three runs, dating to last season.
Jenrry Mejia pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
Campbell drove in the first run in a three-run first inning with a double off Cole (6-4). Daniel Murphy capped the Mets’ scoring with a two-run single with two outs in the second.
Cole, who leads the Pirates in victories, lasted just four innings. Activated from the DL earlier Saturday, he was tagged for five runs and seven hits. Cole had been out since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue.
After Campbell hit his RBI double in the first, Lucas Duda scored on a wild pitch and Kirk Nieuwenhuis capped the inning by singling in a run.
Niese lost the strike zone in the fourth inning as he walked three consecutive batters, including Pedro Alvarez and Chris Stewart with the bases loaded to make it 5-2. Niese wriggled out of the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.
Neil Walker’s RBI single in the fifth for Pittsburgh made it a two-run game.
RHP Brandon Cumpton was optioned by Pittsburgh to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Cole. … RHP Ernesto Frieri joined the Pirates a day after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade for RHP Jason Grilli and pitched a perfect inning of relief. Manager Clint Hurdle said Frieri will likely be used in middle relief at first. … Marte was unable to start for the fourth consecutive game because of a jammed middle finger and his pinch-hitting appearance was the first he batted since being injured Tuesday. … The Mets had Niese bat eighth and LF Eric Young Jr. hit ninth, marking the third time in the last seven games manager Terry Collins had the pitcher hit No. 8. … The four-game series concludes Sunday with New York RHP Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.67) attempting to win his seventh straight decision as he faces RHP Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35).