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TEX@NYM: Niese leaves game after getting hit by liner

For 10 years, David Wright has been a staple on the hot corner for the Mets. On Monday night, when New York opens a three-game series in Seattle, Wright will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Major League debut.

With Jon Niese returning to the mound, the Mets have even more to celebrate. The lefty is returning from a more than two-week stint on the disabled list against the Mariners at Safeco Field.

Niese, who is 5-4 with a 2.96 ERA this season, said he "felt good" after throwing a 28-pitch bullpen session on Friday and is "certain 100 percent I'm throwing Monday."

Seattle will counter with struggling rookie Roenis Elias. The lefty has posted a 10.55 ERA in his past three starts, but has started as many games as any other rookie in the Majors this season.

In his solid rookie campaign, Elias is 7-8 with a 4.54 ERA and even has a three-hitter to his name -- back on June 1 against the Tigers. Lloyd McClendon isn't asking for that, just that he be solid and throw strikes against New York.

"He needs to command the fastball, which he's been working hard on," the Mariners manager said. "His stuff is plenty good. His problem is he's just been working from behind in the count."

Mariners: Cano gets day off before New York series
Robinson Cano has been playing through hamstring issues, so the second baseman took a day off on Sunday against the Angels, but McClendon doesn't sound concerned about any long-term issues.

"Robby's tight and sore," McClendon said before Sunday's game. "He asked for the day off, so he's off."

Cano had just one day off in the first half before participating in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. Willie Bloomquist replaced Cano at second base a day after Cano had an eight-game hitting streak snapped.

Mets: Abreu due for increased role
Although Bobby Abreu will sit out Monday's game against Elias, New York manager Terry Collins said the outfielder will serve as his designated hitter on Tuesday and Wednesday. Collins has grown concerned that Abreu is losing some potency off the bench given his lack of playing time, as he is part of a four-man left-field mix that also includes Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Chris Young and Eric Young.

"If you go back in his career, he's played," Collins said. "He's been a guy who is used to getting four at-bats a game. He was never that pinch-hitting guy that sat on the bench and came off the bench. When he went to the American League, they DH'd him and played him in the outfield, and he was a good defender. To be honest, I think he's still getting his feet wet pinch-hitting once a game, and not doing it for two or three days and then getting back in there and getting one at-bat."

Abreu is batting .074 as a pinch-hitter this season.

Worth noting
• Elias' 96 strikeouts are third most among rookies behind only the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka and the Royals' Yordano Ventura.

• With a 1-for-4 day on Sunday, Wright's career batting average sits at .300 with 230 home runs and 925 RBIs.

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