Mets LHP Jon Niese hit by line drive, leaves start

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NEW YORK (AP) - Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese has left his start against Texas in the first inning after getting hit in the lower back by a line drive.

The team says X-rays were negative and Niese has a bruise.

Alex Rios’ liner hit Niese on the left side of his lower back Friday night. He recovered to throw out Rios at first base before manager Terry Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen and trainer Ray Ramirez came out to check on Niese.

The left-hander repeatedly told Collins he was fine, but was removed anyway without trying a warmup pitch. Carlos Torres was given all the time he needed to get loose.

An angry Niese fired his glove against the dugout wall and knocked over a bucket of bubble gum before disappearing down the tunnel.

The team’s most reliable starter this season, Niese got one out on 12 pitches. He gave up a leadoff homer to Shin-Soo Choo.

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