Arroyo and Penny both impressive in matchup

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Bronson Arroyo allowed just four hits in eight innings of one-run ball Thursday against the Cardinals despite taking an early Colby Rasmus comebacker off his calf, but got stuck with a no-decision and said afterward that his leg was “not real good.”
Hopefully he can make his next start, because Thursday’s gem kept Arroyo on a major roll dating back to last season. In fact, Arroyo has the best ERA in all of baseball since last July at 2.01.
Brad Penny matched Arroyo with seven innings of one-run ball and perhaps most impressively induced 13 ground-ball outs. Penny has always been a fly-ball pitcher, but Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has a history of getting scrap-heap veterans to change their approach in the name of more grounders.
Joel Pineiro was his big success story in 2009 and it wouldn’t be shocking if Duncan worked similar miracles with Penny.

Jon Niese leaves start with knee pain

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.

Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.

Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 11:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 11, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.