Niese takes loss in Denver with temps in 20s


DENVER (AP) -- Time to head home and warm up.

A frigid road trip for the New York Mets came to a miserable end Thursday when Jon Garland and the Colorado Rockies completed a three-game sweep with an 11-3 victory at Coors Field.

It was a disruptive trek for New York, which went 3-5 on what was supposed to be a 10-game swing. Wintry weather wiped out Sunday's series finale in Minnesota, and heavy snow that hit Denver forced a pair of postponements this week and a frosty doubleheader on Tuesday.

"This has been a tough trip," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're glad it's over and we know the weather's going to start changing, soon start getting baseball weather. We've got to start taking BP like we normally do and get back on our schedule."

New York finally returns to Citi Field to face the Washington Nationals on Friday night, with Matt Harvey set to pitch against Stephen Strasburg in a marquee matchup.

Jonathon Niese gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings while pitching in raw conditions Thursday for the second consecutive start. He lasted five innings in snowy weather for the win Friday in Minnesota.

"It was real tough but at the same time we have to stay on our toes," Niese said. "We have to be ready at all times. In weather like this, you've got to strap it on and play. The lack of scheduling shouldn't be an excuse, but it was tough. It was tough to get into a routine."

It was 28 degrees when Garland threw the first pitch, and he worked seven solid innings in the finale of a series that was supposed to be four games.

The crowd was announced at 18,341 as the Rockies matched a team record for the coldest home start. A game against the Montreal Expos on April 12, 1997, was played in a similarly frigid conditions.

Garland (2-0) allowed two runs and six hits. He walked none and struck out four.

Troy Tulowitzki homered and hit a go-ahead single. Dexter Fowler and Josh Rutledge also went deep as the Rockies won their sixth straight home game.

Eric Young Jr. and Carlos Gonzalez added three hits apiece for Colorado.

Leading 3-2 after Tulowitzki singled off Niese (2-1) to drive in Gonzalez, the Rockies broke it open with a six-run seventh inning against three relievers.

Colorado got a two-run single from Wilin Rosario, a two-run double from Todd Helton and RBI singles from Chris Nelson and pinch-hitter Reid Brignac. In fact, Brignac batted in place of Jordan Pacheco, who began the inning as a pinch-hitter for Garland.

Helton's double was the 573rd of his career, moving him past Ivan Rodriguez for 20th on baseball's all-time list.

"There are certain situations that come up in the game, that's what guys are here for," Collins said of his bullpen. "Cargo hits everybody, he's a little different case. There are guys that when they're here there are certain roles they play. They've got to start getting people out. Ultimately that's going to be a concern."

Fowler connected for his seventh homer and Tulowitzki for his fourth in the eighth off right-hander Jeremy Hefner, a member of the rotation who took the mound in relief.

The Rockies finished with 17 hits, doing most of their damage against the Mets' bullpen.

Rutledge snapped a 1-all tie in the fourth when he drove a changeup from Niese into the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the season.

New York evened the score at 2 on David Wright's second RBI single, a comebacker that glanced off Garland's glove in the sixth.


BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning and Baltimore withstood four solo homers by Tampa Bay.

Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce also homered for the Orioles, who took two of three from their AL East rivals. It was Baltimore's 17th straight extra-inning victory, including 16 last season.

After Nick Markakis led off the 10th with a single against Jamey Wright (0-1), Brandon Gomes came in to face Manny Machado, who reached on a bunt single that hugged the first base line. Adam Jones followed with a long single to the warning track that eluded right fielder Ben Zobrist, but Markakis held up at second and could only make it to third.

Wieters drove Gomes' next pitch over the right-field wall. It was Baltimore's first game-ending grand slam since Harold Baines did it against the Chicago White Sox on May 4, 1999.

Troy Patton (1-0) worked the 10th for Baltimore.

Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria homered for the Rays in the first inning, Jose Molina connected in the sixth and James Loney went deep in the eighth against Darren O'Day to knot the score at 6.

Tampa Bay starter David Price, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, walked off the mound with the lead but remained winless in four starts this season.


TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey threw six shutout innings before leaving with soreness in his neck and back during Toronto's victory over Chicago.

Dickey (2-2) retired his first 11 batters and allowed two hits, both singles. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner walked one, struck out a season-high seven and lowered his ERA from 5.82 to 4.30.

Esmil Rogers got four outs and Casey Janssen finished for his fifth save.

Rajai Davis sparked the Blue Jays' offense with two stolen bases and an RBI double.

Chris Sale (1-2), who gave up a career-high eight runs in his previous start Sunday in Cleveland, was much better in this one. He allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits over seven innings.

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista missed his fourth straight game with a sore back.


MILWAUKEE -- Yovani Gallardo homered and struck out six in his first start since being arrested on a drunken driving charge, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat San Francisco for a three-game sweep.

Gallardo (1-1) was arrested early Tuesday morning. The right-hander allowed five hits, one walk and one earned run in six innings.

Milwaukee won its season-high fourth in a row after a 1-8 skid.

Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy also homered for Milwaukee, which swept the Giants for the first time since July 18-20, 2008.

San Francisco fell to 0-4 when Matt Cain (0-2) pitches.


PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth, Adam Wainwright pitched seven solid innings and the St. Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies.

Philadelphia put runners at first and third with no outs in the ninth against Edward Mujica, but the fill-in closer retired three straight batters for his first save. The Phillies lost their fourth in a row.

Wainwright (3-1) gave up three runs and nine hits while striking out four and walking none.

Beltran broke a 3-all tie with one out in the eighth when he hit an opposite-field homer to left off Mike Adams (0-1).


PITTSBURGH -- Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis connected for a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Atlanta brothers B.J. and Justin Upton homered in the same game for the second time this season as the Braves kept up their torrid play. Atlanta improved to a major league-best 13-2 after Gattis hit a sinker from Jared Hughes (1-1) into the left-field bleachers for the first pinch-hit homer of his career.

Justin Upton leads the majors with nine home runs.

Anthony Varvaro (1-0) won in relief of starter Julio Teheran. Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was back in the Miami lineup after missing six games with a bruised left shoulder. He committed two errors, including one that let a run score.



CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the season, Anthony Rizzo also homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Texas Rangers at a soggy Wrigley Field.

Despite torrential rains that caused citywide floods, the teams were able to play in an occasional drizzle. The Cubs and Texas were rained out Wednesday.

Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Soriano followed with a shot that gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead against Alexi Ogando (2-1). Soriano's homer accounted for his first RBI of the season.

Welington Castillo added a career-high four hits as Chicago ended its three-game losing streak.

Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched seven innings and gave up two runs and four hits.


NEW YORK -- Cody Ross hit a go-ahead single in the 12th inning, Eric Chavez followed with a three-run double against his former team and Arizona beat New York after one fan came up with two home run balls, including Francesco Cervelli's tying drive in the ninth.

The Yankees failed to complete a three-game sweep after learning captain Derek Jeter again fractured his left ankle and will be sidelined until after the All-Star break.

On a strange night that included a pair of catcher's interference calls against Cervelli, Robinson Cano started New York's comeback from a 2-0 deficit with a sixth-inning homer off Patrick Corbin.

David Phelps (0-1) escaped trouble in the 11th, but couldn't do it again an inning later.

Didi Gregorius hit his first major league home run and Martin Prado also went deep for the Diamondbacks. Heath Bell (1-0) got the win in a game that lasted 4 hours, 11 minutes.

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