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Old 09-26-2014, 11:30 PM   #1
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Niese exits with elevated heart rate; Astros win

Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese left his final start of the season with an elevated heart rate, a condition he has dealt with before, and the Houston Astros rallied Friday night against reliever Carlos Torres for a 3-1 victory over New York.

Jose Altuve, closing in on the American League batting title, hit a tying single in a three-run sixth inning. Chris Carter and Robbie Grossman doubled off Torres, and Matt Dominguez capped the outburst with an RBI single.

Kevin Chapman (2-0) got two outs, Tony Sipp tossed two perfect innings and the Astros snapped a three-game skid by winning for the third time in 10 games. Chad Qualls worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 19th save.

Curtis Granderson hit his 20th homer for the Mets, already assured their sixth straight losing season since moving into Citi Field.

Niese was working on a three-hit shutout when he ducked under a throw to second base by Mets catcher Anthony Recker in the sixth. The left-hander bent over to stretch his arms and back after the play, bringing trainer Ray Ramirez and manager Terry Collins out of the dugout.

Following a discussion on the mound, Niese walked off the field and was replaced by Torres (8-6), who was given all the time he needed to warm up.

It didn't help.

Niese left an outing at Texas in June 2011 when he struggled to catch his breath and another about a year later due to a rapid heartbeat. He had a battery of tests in 2011 that revealed nothing abnormal about his heart and was cleared to make his next start. He even wore a monitor for 24 hours to measure his heart throughout the day.

Niese also underwent an extra EKG at spring training in 2012 and was declared healthy.

Three years ago, Niese said he often experienced an elevated heart rate about once or twice a month - but only when he was pitching. He said then that his heart sometimes races, but it usually goes away after a few seconds.


Astros: Interim manager Tom Lawless said relievers Josh Fields and Darin Downs, both sidelined by oblique injuries, remain day to day. ... CF Dexter Fowler was checked by a trainer in the sixth after getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist. Fowler stayed in the game and made a sliding catch moments later with two runners on.

Mets: OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis was scratched from the starting lineup because he was sick when he arrived at the ballpark. Eric Young Jr. was inserted in left field, and Matt den Dekker shifted to center. ... C Travis d'Arnaud will miss the final few games of the season because of a bone spur in his right elbow. He said he is scheduled for surgery Wednesday to remove the spur.


Lawless will formally interview for Houston's permanent managerial job with GM Jeff Luhnow on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Mets rookie RHP Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38 ERA) makes his eighth major league start Saturday night against Astros RHP Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66).

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