NEW YORK -- This isn't the way the Mets hoped to start a crucial 10-game homestand.
After allowing a leadoff homer to Shin-Soo Choo, left-hander Jon Niese exited after recording just one out against the Rangers on Friday night -- an eventual 6-5 win -- when a comebacker off the bat of Alex Rios caught him on the side. Niese recovered to record the out, but after a visit from a team trainer and manager Terry Collins, the call was made to the bullpen.
"You've done this before with such an injury, and you've re-injured something else," manager Terry Collins said he told Niese. "You can't go out there until we make sure you don't have a broken rib. We can't have you have a punctured lung. So I just said, 'Jon, I can't let you continue.'
"That's one of the things I like about Jon Niese. He's really become that tremendous competitor."
Right-hander Carlos Torres was the first reliever to get the call, and he posted 4 2/3 innings of two-run baseball.
"Not much to say other than I'm fine," said Niese. "I felt like I was cheated there a little bit. I knew it was just a bruise, and ... I wanted to stay in there.
"Carlos did a great job coming in and shutting [them] down. Everybody else coming in ... It's fun to watch."
Niese has now allowed no more than three earned runs in each of his 17 starts this season.
Tim Healey and Jake Kring-Schreifels are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.