JUPITER, Fla. – Jon Niese struggled in his first spring start that was delayed by shoulder trouble, allowing four runs in two innings of the New York Mets' 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
The Mets' opening-day starter last season, Niese pitched until June before being sidelined by a partially torn rotator cuff. He returned in August, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA the rest of the way. He allowed six hits and walked two Tuesday.
The Cardinals tagged Niese for four runs in the second. Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer in the inning, hours after manager Mike Matheny expressed his support for the struggling second baseman.
Fighting strep throat, Adam Wainwright made only one big mistake in 3 1-3 innings: Josh Satin hit a 2-1 pitch over the center field wall, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second.