Niese hurt, but d’Arnaud lifts Mets over Rangers

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NEW YORK (AP) - It certainly appears that trip to Las Vegas turned Travis d’Arnaud into a much more confident hitter.

The rookie catcher snapped an eighth-inning tie with a two-run double, and the New York Mets overcame an early injury to starter Jonathon Niese, beating the skidding Texas Rangers 6-5 Friday night to stop a four-game slide.

“Felt really good,” d’Arnaud said. “It’s a big win for us to start the homestand.”

Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer off Yu Darvish, and the Mets opened a 10-game homestand with their second victory in nine games. An angry Niese left in the first with a bruised lower back after he was hit by Alex Rios’ line drive. X-rays were negative, the team said.

Star third baseman David Wright missed his seventh straight game with a sore left shoulder, but fill-in Eric Campbell had three hits and an RBI for New York. Carlos Torres, pressed into long relief when Niese was injured, gave up two runs in 4 2-3 valuable innings.

“Nobody expects stuff like that to happen. It does. This is baseball,” Torres said. “Whoever they call down for, they step up and go out there and go do their job.”

Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff homer, and Adrian Beltre also went deep for the Rangers, who have dropped six in a row and 14 of 16.

Their 10-game losing streak on the road is the club’s longest since a 12-game skid in 2003.

“One day the pitching is really good, and one day the offense isn’t helping,” Choo said. “Right now, everything bad is coming together at the same time.”

Bobby Abreu drew a leadoff walk from Aaron Poreda (2-1) in the eighth and Campbell singled off Jason Frasor with one out before d’Arnaud sent a drive up the alley in right-center.

Batting .180 when he was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas in early June, d’Arnaud quickly went on a power-hitting tear in the Pacific Coast League. Brought back to the big leagues, he is hitting .303 with six RBIs in nine games since he was recalled.

“I just try to keep my mind at ease and keep everything simple and not overstress myself, and that’s been paying off,” d’Arnaud said.

Jenrry Mejia (5-3) retired Rios with two runners in scoring position to end the eighth. Mejia allowed an RBI single by Adam Rosales in the ninth before retiring pinch-hitter Robinson Chirinos on a tricky popup to finish a plodding game on Fireworks Night that took 4 hours, 8 minutes.

Darvish, pushed back a day because of rain Thursday in Baltimore, entered with dominant stats against NL teams. But he was off in this one, allowing four runs and five hits in five innings.

“He was a little erratic with his command, but I thought he did a good job of righting the ship there in the last three innings,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

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