Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 3/17/13
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Police: No arrests while Eagles fans celebrated SB berth

Jeffrey Lurie opens up about team overcoming adversity

Top takeaways from NFL Championship Sunday

Six incredible stats from the Belichick/Brady era in Boston

You wont believe how much Super Bowl tickets cost

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Izzo issues statement clarifying Larry Nassar comment

Brady cracks joke about hiding his hand injury from media

Brady, Patriots are Super Bowl bound again

Is Nick Foles having elbow problems? Speculation persists

Rob Gronkowski suffers concussion in AFC championship game

Dolphins open to drafting QB in first round

Behind the scenes: History of the Super Bowl in pictures

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Top 10 X-factors for Conference Championship Games

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Behind the scenes: History of the Super Bowl in pictures

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker