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Morning Briefing: Jonathon Niese gets crack at rotation

PHOENIX -- Jonathon Niese is poised to make his first start for the New York Mets since Sept. 21, 2015.

Niese (8-6, 5.20 ERA) opposes Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley (3-2, 5.24) in Wednesday's 9:40 p.m. ET rubber game at Chase Field.

Niese takes over the rotation spot formerly occupied by Logan Verrett. Verrett went 0-3 with a 7.18 ERA in seven starts after Matt Harvey landed on the disabled list with thoracic outlet syndrome that ultimately required surgery.

WEDNESDAY'S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Noah Syndergaard produced a two-run homer and Kelly Johnson also went deep and the Mets held on to beat the Diamondbacks, 7-5, Tuesday. Syndergaard's third homer this season matched the franchise single-season record for a pitcher. Hampered by a pair of sixth-inning errors by rookie third baseman T.J. Rivera, Syndergaard was charged with four runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Syndergaard earned his first win since July 3. A late entrant for scratched Neil Walker, Rivera nonetheless went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. The Mets (60-59) returned to a game over .500. They are three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals (63-56) for the second wild-card spot. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Walker was scratched with lower-back stiffness. That’s the same injury that caused a four-day absence in June. Walker soon intends to depart on paternity leave. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Yoenis Cespedes went 0-for-3 and played seven innings in left field on Tuesday in his second rehab game with Class A St. Lucie. He expects to play a full game on Wednesday with the Florida State League club, then rejoin the Mets and be activated Friday. Asdrubal Cabrera went 1-for-3 and played four innings at shortstop for St. Lucie on Tuesday in his first rehab game. Cabrera intends to play seven innings on Wednesday for the FSL club. Terry Collins hopes Cabrera can rejoin the Mets by the end of the weekend in San Francisco. Read more at NJ.com.

  • While the Mets are betting that they ultimately will re-up with Las Vegas as their Triple-A affiliate for two more years, team officials plan to explore what opportunities might be available on the East Coast after this season before committing to re-signing with the 51s.

  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post looks at the Mets’ underwhelming competition for the second NL wild card. Writes Sherman: "Their blessing is that the other main contenders for the second wild card -- the Marlins, Pirates and Cardinals -- have key injuries, debilitating underperformance and draining flaws as well."

  • Terry Collins is sticking with Curtis Granderson as his No. 2 hitter despite Granderson's profound struggles with runners in scoring position. Granderson went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly on Tuesday as his average dipped to .224. Read more in the Post and Newsday.

  • Brandon Nimmo's walk-off homer in the 12th have Las Vegas a 7-5 win over Round Rock and snapped the 51s' eight-game losing streak. Rafael Montero allowed four first-inning runs in the opener and David Roseboom suffered his first blown save in Game 2 as New Hampshire swept Binghamton in a doubleheader. Vinny Siena and Kevin Kaczmarski contributed two-run doubles as St. Lucie split a doubleheader with Fort Myers with an 8-6 win in the nightcap. Jimmy Duff had a blown save after inheriting the bases loaded in Asheville's 8-7 win against Columbia. Brooklyn's Harol Gonzalez tossed a perfect frame and was credited with the win in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear produces a special edition of Kiner's Korner with star of the game Choo-Choo Coleman. ... Mets Report looks at Syndergaard's issues.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike O'Connor turns 36. ... Blake Taylor is 21.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets remain with Las Vegas as their Triple-A affiliate?