ST. LOUIS - Once again, Jonathon Niese did not emerge with a victory. But he extended what has been one of the best streaks of his career.

In Sunday's wild 3-1 win in 18 innings over the Cardinals, Niese set the tone for another outstanding pitching day for the Mets by tossing 72/3 scoreless innings.

"This is the most consistent I've seen Jon Niese," manager Terry Collins said. "He has confidence in what he's doing."

By the end of May, Niese's ERA had risen to 4.42. But he has had eight straight quality starts since. In that span, the Mets lefty has pitched to a stellar 2.28 ERA to lower it to 3.36 overall.

"I feel pretty good right now, just being able to put balls where I want to," Niese said.

The bullpen allowed just one run the rest of the way.

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Bobby Parnell tossed 11/3 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.79 since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Jenrry Mejia added two scoreless innings in just his second appearance since returning from an 80-game PED suspension.

Injury updates

Travis d'Arnaud (sprained left elbow) will take batting practice against a coach Monday . . . Rafael Montero (shoulder) is slated to pitch two innings in the minors Monday in his second rehab outing . . . Erik Goeddel (elbow) has resumed throwing off a pitcher's mound.

New backup

Mets videos

The Mets recalled catcher Anthony Recker from Triple-A Las Vegas. He will replace Johnny Monell, who was optioned to Las Vegas.