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Mike Stanton aiming to return from quadriceps injury Thursday

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Mike Stanton was expected to miss “at least two weeks” with a strained quadriceps suffered on February 27. It’s been three weeks and a couple days, and now Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Stanton is hoping to make his spring training debut Thursday.

In the meantime he’ll test his quadriceps by playing a few innings of right field in a minor-league game today, so barring a setback it sounds like Stanton should have plenty of time to be fully healthy by Opening Day.

He’s a very popular breakout pick after an impressive rookie half-season with the Marlins and Stanton blasted 43 homers between Triple-A and the majors as a 20-year-old. Few hitters in baseball have as much power potential, but Stanton still has plenty of work to do on his plate discipline and strike zone control after posting a 123/34 K/BB ratio in his debut.

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.