Nieve gets Paulino to pop out to third, and the Mets beat the Marlins, 6-1. A very good day for the Mets. The Oliver Perez distraction is gone, with Perez on the DL and on his way to Florida. Jonathon Niese, just activated from the DL and taking Perez's place on the roster, throws seven strong innings, allowing only one run. David Wright hits his 10th homer of the year, more than three months earlier than he hit his 10th (and final) home run of 2009. And rookie first baseman Ike Davis has a career day, going 4-for-4. Gotta head to the clubhouse! Stay tuned.
6:20 p.m. Mets leave two on in the eighth. We head to the ninth inning, 6-1 Mets, and Fernando Nieve is coming in to pitch.
6:11 p.m. Ike Davis leads off the eighth with a single -- that's four hits on the day for Davis, a career-high.
6:09 p.m. Mejia mows the Marlins down 1-2-3 in the eighth.
6:03 p.m. Mets do not score in the seventh off Jay Buente -- and we go to the eighth, with Jenrry Mejia coming on in relief of Niese.
5:54 p.m. Niese limits the Marlins to one run, and has pitched seven strong innings. My best guess is, that will be it for Niese today. But it's a heck of a performance.
5:53 p.m. The Marlins finally got to Niese, who may be tiring. Double by Uggla, walk to Ross, RBI single by Paulino, and it's 6-1.
5:42 p.m. Now pitching for the Marlins -- former Met Jorge Sosa. Sosa has a 1-2-3 sixth.
5:36 p.m. A 10-pitch inning -- one more hit, a double by Coghlan that Jason Bay couldn't get to in left, but Niese pitched out of it. Six shutout innings coming off the DL -- awfully impressive.
5:29 p.m. Wright delivers again -- drives home Davis with his second hit of the game, and it's 6-0 Mets. Heading to the sixth inning now. Niese has only thrown 57 pitches through five.
5:24 p.m. Ike Davis lines a double to right field with one out in the fifth -- his third hit of the game -- and chases Nate Robertson in the process. Here comes Brian Sanches to face Wright.
5:19 p.m Five shutout innings for Niese now, and he's allowed only three singles (plus the hit batsman). Helped in the fifth by another very nice double-play, Tejada with another good turn.
5:13 p.m. Mets go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
5:06 p.m. That's four shutout innings for Niese now -- another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
5:01 p.m. It has to be mentioned, that homer was Wright's 10th of the season, and it came on June 5. Wright had only 10 home runs all of last season.
4:59 p.m. Barajas and Francouer strike out back-to-back. We go to the top of the fourth now, 5-0 Mets.
4:57 p.m. And then two more -- David Wright just crushed a 2-1 pitch into the left-field seats. It's 5-0 Mets -- they are all over Robertson.
4:55 p.m. Another run for the Mets -- Angel Pagan leads off the third with a double, plated by an Ike Davis single. 3-0 Mets.
4:49 p.m. Marlins got a base runner in the top of the third, when Chris Coghlan was hit in the back by Niese. But Coghlan was erased by a 5-4-3 double play -- beautifully turned by the newcomer, Tejada, who was taken out hard on the slide by Coghlan. Gotta wonder if Coghlan was going in there extra hard after getting drilled by Niese.
4:44 p.m. Reyes grounds out to short, stranding Francouer at third and Tejada at second. 2-0 Mets, heading to the third frame.
4:40 p.m. Followed up by a big hit from the new kid, Ruben Tejada, called up to play second base yesterday when Luis Castillo went on the DL. Tejada smacks a double against the left-field wall -- he just missed a home run. Drives in David Wright, who had walked earlier in the inning. 2-0 Mets.
4:38 p.m. Jeff Francouer continues to be red-hot. Hits a one-out RBI single, driving home Davis. Francouer now has a nine-game hitting streak -- in his past eight games before today, he was batting .500, going 14-for 28. 1-0, Mets.
4:34 p.m. A leadoff double for Ike Davis, in the gap in left-center. Snaps an 0-for-9 skid for the rookie.
4:30 p.m. Niese gives up back-to-back one-out singles to Dan Uggla and Cody Ross, but works out trouble, striking out Ronny Paulino and inducing a force-out from Cameron Maybin. We're scoreless, headed to the bottom of the second.
4:21 p.m. Nate Robertson is equally as impressive in the bottom of the first. Mets go down 1-2-3 -- Jason Bay whiffed to end the inning.
4:16 p.m. A 1-2-3 inning = a good start for Niese. Struck out Hanley Ramirez to end the top of the first.
4:12 p.m. Jonathon Niese's first pitch is a ball, and we're under way at steamy, 89-degree Citi Field.
4:06 p.m. Backup catcher Henry Blanco, who had a cortisone shot Thursday because of a herniated disc in his neck, is feeling better today, according to Manuel.
"I think [Blanco's] much better today, we can use him in case of an emergency, but we would like to protect ourselves at this point," Manuel said -- also explaining why the Mets are continuing to carry three catchers on the 25-man roster. Omir Santos was recalled from Double-A Binghamton on Friday, to be the backup catcher if Blanco can't play.
4:02 p.m. In case you were wondering, closer Francisco Rodriguez is available to pitch today -- he's had two days off following his 2 and 1/3 innings in San Diego on Tuesday.
"I think he likes to pitch, and he's gonna be a guy at times that uses a lot of pitches," Manuel said of K-Rod. "But I think what we've learned from him last year, is that he was most ineffective when he did not pitch a lot. ... I think the more there are save situations, the better he'll become."
3:31 p.m. Jonathon Niese hasn't pitched for the Mets since May 16, against the Marlins in Florida. He's been recovering from a right hamstring injury. Before today's game, manager Jerry Manuel said there is no exact pitch count Niese will be limited to.
"I would think a minimum of 80 [pitches], but obviously the pitch count will probably be most determined by the performance, and we'll have to watch him closely," Manuel said. "But for the most part there aren't any limitations. He should be strong."
Manuel said pitching coach Dan Warthen will watch Niese closely in his warmup, and after that Warthen will give Manuel an indication of a pitch limit for Niese.
3:21 p.m. Carlos Beltran played in his second extending spring training game in Florida earlier today. He got seven at-bats, all as the DH, and went 1-for-5 with an RBI and two walks.
3:17 p.m. Today's Marlins lineup:
Chris Coghlan, LF
Gaby Sanchez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Jorge Cantu, 3B
Dan Uggla, 2B
Cody Ross, RF
Ronny Paulino, C
Cameron Maybin, CF
Nate Robertson, LHP
2:01 p.m. Today's Mets lineup, with Jonathon Niese on the mound, making his return from a hamstring injury. Oliver Perez is Florida-bound, on the DL with "patella tendinitis of his right knee" according to the Mets.
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, CF
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francouer, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Jonathon Niese, LHP