Atlanta at New York

N.Y. Mets
W: J. Teheran (2-1) L: S. Rice (0-2) S: A. Varvaro (2)
HR: ATL - C. Johnson (3)   NYM - J. Valdespin (4)

Braves 2, Mets 1


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - With Johan Santana sidelined, Jonathon Niese is looking more and more like the New York Mets' opening day starter.

Niese gave up one run and two hits in five innings Sunday in the Mets' 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

With Santana still building up arm strength - he hasn't pitched in a single spring training game - Niese appears to be the likely replacement for the April 1 opener against San Diego.

"I'm not convinced, but there's certainly a strong possibility that's going to happen," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

With both clubs sporting some green in their uniforms and playing with green bases on St. Patrick's Day, Niese struck out four and walked one. He allowed Chris Johnson's home run in the fourth, Johnson's third of spring training. The drive went off the scoreboard in left-field.

"It was one of those things," Niese said. "I got two quick outs and should've been pounding the zone there.

I nibbled with my changeup and fell behind."

Atlanta worked the count and ran Niese's pitch count up to 83.

Bidding to earn the fifth spot in the Braves' rotation, Julio Teheran allowed a leadoff homer to Jordany Valdespin, then gave up just two more hits. He walked two.

Valdespin's homer landed on the walkway beside the berm down the right-field line, his fourth home run of the exhibition season.

"He hit a four-seam fastball," said Teheran. "I was behind in the count, so I tried to get ahead. He was jumping on me. I just tried to stay focused on the game and compete after that."

Teheran lowered his ERA to 1.35.

"I've been trying to make the team and trying to impress them," he said. "That's why I've been doing good. A lot of things are working better. I'm throwing my breaking pitch more for strikes. That's the difference from last year. I tried to throw everything by everybody last spring."

He received some advice during the offseason from a pitcher he idolized, former-Met Pedro Martinez. The two had dinner together during winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

"He told me to save my energy for the whole game, and that's what I'm trying to do this year," Teheran said. "It was exciting for me because when I was little, I watched him pitch."

Freddie Freeman hit an RBI single in the sixth off Scott Rice. Johnson had three hits.

NOTES: Atlanta gave its regular outfield (Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and B.J. Upton) a day off. ... Mets INF Justin Turner, who sprained his right ankle while fielding a grounder at third base on Saturday, had X-rays, which were negative. ... Collins described 2B Daniel Murphy as "pretty stiff" and said the team will see how he is on Wednesday. Murphy has not appeared in a game yet because of a strained right intercostal muscle. ... Collins also said there is no schedule for Santana to pitch a game this week.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game
New York

J. Niese
IP 5.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 1
K 4

J. Teheran
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 7

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Jordan Schafer, CF4110001 .240
Gerald Laird, C2000010 .100
    Christian Bethancourt, C1000000 .133
Freddie Freeman, 1B4011000 .327
    Joe Terdoslavich, 1B0000000 .417
Dan Uggla, 2B4000021 .196
    Blake DeWitt, 2B0000000 .219
Chris Johnson, 3B4131000 .333
Jordan Parraz, RF4010023 .294
Ramiro Pena, SS3010110 .273
Jose Constanza, LF2000002 .000
    Evan Gattis, LF2000011 .378
    David Rohm, LF0000000 .000
Julio Teheran, P2000010 .000
   a- Juan Francisco, PH1010000 .326
    Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
    Dusty Hughes, P0000000 .000
    Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Teheran in the 7th
HR - Chris Johnson (3, Niese)
SH - Gerald Laird (1)
RBI - Freddie Freeman (9), Chris Johnson (8)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Johnson (4)
SB - Jordan Schafer (3, 2nd base off Rice/Powell)
Team LOB - 6
DP - DeWitt-Terdoslavich
Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran (W,2-1) 6311271 1.35
Luis Avilan (H,2) 1000000 3.24
Dusty Hughes (H,4) 1000100 1.29
Anthony Varvaro (S,2) 1000110 5.00
Pitches-Strikes - Julio Teheran 44-35, Luis Avilan 3-3, Dusty Hughes 6-2, Anthony Varvaro 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julio Teheran 1-10, Luis Avilan 2-1, Dusty Hughes 1-1, Anthony Varvaro 2-0
Batters Faced - Julio Teheran 23, Luis Avilan 3, Dusty Hughes 3, Anthony Varvaro 4
New York Mets
Jordany Valdespin, 2B2121100 .378
   a- Brandon Hicks, PH-1B0000100 .133
Collin Cowgill, LF-CF4000013 .293
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
Ike Davis, 1B3010011 .364
    Daniel Muno, 2B0000100 .000
Marlon Byrd, RF3000011 .324
    Andrew Brown, RF1000011 .167
Zach Lutz, 3B3000102 .314
Landon Powell, C3000011 .190
    Brian Bixler, SS1000001 .296
Matt den Dekker, CF2000011 .212
   b- Jamie Hoffmann, PH-LF1000000 .185
Ruben Tejada, SS3000000 .100
    Robert Carson, P0000000 .000
    Darrell Ceciliani, CF0000000 .000
Jonathon Niese, P1000010 .000
   c- Lucas Duda, PH1000010 .222
    Scott Rice, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Anthony Recker, C1000000 .471
a-walked for Valdespin in the 8th
b-grounded out for den Dekker in the 7th
c-struck out for Niese in the 5th
2B - Ike Davis (3, Teheran)
HR - Jordany Valdespin (4, Teheran)
RBI - Jordany Valdespin (8)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Muno-Bixler-Hicks
New York Mets
Jonathon Niese 5211141 0.71
Scott Rice (L,0-2) 0.2211010 4.70
Brandon Lyon 1100020 1.59
Pedro Feliciano 0.1100000 2.70
Robert Carson 1.1200010 4.82
Bobby Parnell 0.2000000 3.52
WP - Jonathon Niese (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 33-26, Scott Rice 6-6, Brandon Lyon 8-8, Pedro Feliciano 2-2, Robert Carson 8-8, Bobby Parnell 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 5-6, Scott Rice 1-0, Brandon Lyon 1-0, Pedro Feliciano 1-0, Robert Carson 2-1, Bobby Parnell 1-0
Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 18, Scott Rice 4, Brandon Lyon 4, Pedro Feliciano 2, Robert Carson 6, Bobby Parnell 1
Game Information
Attendance - 6761
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Chris Segal, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Jeff Gosney