Jon Niese makes early exit from start due to rapid heartbeat

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From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York comes word that Mets left-hander Jon Niese had to be lifted prematurely from his Saturday afternoon matchup with the Rangers due to a “rapid heartbeat.”

Niese struck out seven batters and allowed only two runs over 5 2/3 quality innings against a dangerous Rangers lineup. But it was a steamy day in north Texas and the heat almost certainly played a factor in the lefty’s irregular heartbeat.

Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters in his postgame press conference Saturday that the matter is not considered serious and Niese was later spotted smiling while walking around the visiting clubhouse. It’s feasible that the 24-year-old southpaw, who has a solid 3.70 ERA in 97 1/3 frames this season, won’t need to miss any more action.

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UPDATE, 7:55 PM: According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, Niese said he is “unalarmed” by the rapid heartbeat but is likely to undergo further testing next week in Detroit.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.