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Jul 25, 12:37 AM EDT

Conforto's Mets debut spoiled by Dodgers in 7-2 loss

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Conforto's major league debut for the New York Mets was just about everything he imagined.

Well, except for the final result.

"It was like a dream for me," Conforto said after the Mets' 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. "This whole day was like a dream for me."

The Mets' first-round draft pick last year was promoted from Double-A Binghamton earlier in the day. Conforto drove in the Mets' first run with an RBI groundout in the fifth inning, and finished 0-for-3.

"I was so excited," he said. "I had a lot of fun out there. Didn't go quite the way I had dreamed it, but I think I did a lot of good things out there tonight. Got that first RBI and, you know, felt comfortable out there, so that's the most important thing.

"Just makes me want to come back tomorrow."

He certainly made a good first impression on manager Terry Collins.

"He's got a nice approach, some patience at the plate," Collins said, "so I was very pleased with what I saw."

In a series already upended by a birth, the anticipation of another brought even more uncertainty to Friday night's matchup. With Los Angeles starter Zack Grienke already scratched to be with his wife as she had the couple's first child in Los Angeles, the Mets' Jonathan Niese was close to missing his start as well for the same reason.

The left-hander's availability was in question, with his wife expected to go into labor at any time. Approximately 90 minutes before game time, Niese decided he was going to take the ball.

Things didn't go so well for him on the mound, however. Justin Turner homered and drove in three runs against his former club, and emergency starter Ian Thomas hurled five effective innings.

"Just one of those things where they got to him a little early and some other things happened in his personal life," catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "I thought it showed his character, just to want to even be here and compete, and I think he gave us 110 percent, and that's all we can ask."

Thomas (1-1) allowed one run and three hits over five innings in his first major league start. The rookie left-hander, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma on Wednesday, pitched in place of Greinke- who left the team Thursday morning.

The Dodgers scored early and often off Niese (5-9), who allowed six runs and eight hits - including home runs by Turner and Yasiel Puig - in three innings.

Jimmy Rollins also homered off Hansel Robles in the eighth for the Dodgers, giving the veteran shortstop 32 career home runs against the Mets.

Niese had quietly strung together eight consecutive quality starts before Friday's outing. Howie Kendrick started things off with a one-out single in the first inning, followed by a hard-hit RBI double by Turner to right-center.

Niese didn't fare any better in the second, loading the bases with no outs after consecutive singles by Kike Hernandez and Jimmy Rollins, and a hit batter. Thomas then grounded into a run-scoring double play, followed by an RBI double to left by Joc Pederson to give Los Angeles a 3-0 lead.

Turner struck again in the third, crushing a 3-2 fastball into the seats in left-center field- a few rows behind the Party City Deck. Scott Van Slyke singled, followed by Puig's homer on a 1-0 count, landing in almost the same spot as Turner's and increasing the Dodgers' lead to 6-0.


The Mets made a move to bolster their struggling offense, acquiring infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves after the game for minor league pitchers John Gant and Rob Whalen.

In corresponding moves, the Mets designated outfielder John Mayberry Jr. for assignment and optioned infielder Danny Muno to Triple-A Las Vegas. Third baseman David Wright was also transferred to the 60-day disabled list.


Dodgers: LF Alex Guerrero, originally slated to bat fifth Friday night, was a late scratch due to back stiffness. ... 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the team with 21 home runs, was given the night off. "He's played both of the day games after the night games and I wanted to get him a day," Mattingly said. ... LHP Brett Anderson (irritated Achilles' tendon) threw a bullpen and took part in agility drills before Friday's game. He is a possibility to start on either Sunday against the Mets or Tuesday in Los Angeles against Oakland.

Mets: LF Michael Cuddyer was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's game with inflammation in his left knee. The move was made retroactive to Wednesday.


Dodgers: Los Angeles had yet to announce a starter for Saturday's matchup, awaiting Greinke's status.

Mets: RHP Matt Harvey (8-7, 3.19) takes the hill for the Mets on Saturday night, coming off a 7-2 loss in Washington on Monday in which he allowed five runs (four earned) over seven innings. Still working his way back from 2013 Tommy John surgery, the 26-year-old flamethrower has been uncharacteristically wild of late- walking 13 over his past three outings.


AP freelance writer Charles O'Brien contributed to this report.

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