WHAT IT MEANS: Jonathon Niese showed no effects from the comebacker that struck him in the right leg. The lack of support came from teammates.
Scott Atchison allowed a pair of runners inherited from Niese to score in the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies ultimately swept the light-hitting Mets with a 5-1 win Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
New York Mets
The Mets (10-13) completed their homestand by dropping three games under .500. Philadelphia has won nine of the past 10 games between the teams.
Niese took a scoreless effort into the fifth, when he surrendered a solo homer to Freddy Galvis that evened the score at 1. The southpaw departed with that score intact after surrendering consecutive two-out singles in the seventh to Laynce Nix and Jimmy Rollins.
Howard responded with a two-run double that gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead. Chase Utley added an RBI single. And the Phillies had a three-run cushion.
Niese could have been out of the inning with no damage and the score still tied at 1. Although it was a challenging catch, John Buck was charged with an error for dropping a foul pop from Nix near the Phillies' dugout, which prolonged that at-bat.
The Mets mustered only three hits in the game anyway.
WHOOPS: David Wright's errorless streak ended at 77 games when he flubbed a grounder from Carlos Ruiz in the first inning while transferring the baseball from his glove to throwing hand. The now-over streak is the longest in franchise history for a third baseman.
Wright's error, preceded by a throwing error by Niese and a walk, had loaded the bases with two outs. But Niese escaped by getting Domonic Brown to tap a ball a foot in front of the plate.
Wright -- restored to the No. 3 slot after two games at cleanup -- then staked the Mets to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a single that plated Ruben Tejada, who had doubled.
COLE CASE: Cole Hamels limited the Mets to one run and two hits and departed after six innings with his pitch count at 111. Despite matching a career high with six walks, Hamels earned his first 2013 win courtesy of the three-run seventh by the Phillies.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Mets and Marlins match their young phenoms as Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez face off Monday at 7:10 p.m. in Miami. Harvey is bidding for the third 5-0 April in franchise history. He would join Pedro Martinez (2006) and Dwight Gooden (1988). The Mets are 5-0 in Harvey starts and 5-13 otherwise.