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Mets’ Jay Bruce leaves game with right calf cramp

Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets

Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets reacts in the on deck circle during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jennifer Stewart

ST. LOUIS — A bruised right calf forced Mets rightfielder Jay Bruce to depart Wednesday night’s 8-1 loss to the Cardinals in the second inning. But he hopes to be back in the lineup for Thursday night’s series finale.

“I just didn’t want it to get serious,” said Bruce, who was pulled as a precaution after legging out a double.

Bruising has been an issue since Bruce fouled a ball off his right leg against the Giants. He felt no symptoms on Wednesday night until jogging to his position in the first. The tightness lingered.

“We couldn’t afford to have him blow it out, so I took him out,” manager Terry Collins said.

Bruce has been a non-factor since the Mets acquired him in a deadline-day trade with the Reds. Brought in to solidify the lineup, he entered play hitting just .158 with two homers and six RBIs in 20 games.

Niese out

Jonathon Niese’s second tour of duty with the Mets will end on the operating table. The club announced that the lefthander will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, almost certainly ending a brutal season.

In 29 games with the Pirates and Mets this season, the 29-year-old Niese went 8-7 with a 5.50 ERA. He posted an 11.45 ERA in six appearances (two starts) with the Mets.

Extra bases

Following Wednesday night’s loss, the Mets added a fresh arm to their beleaguered bullpen, promoting lefty Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas for righthander Erik Goeddel . . . Neil Walker won’t rejoin the team until Friday in New York. He is on paternity leave . . . Yoenis Cespedes downplayed heel soreness that he said has come and gone since his days of playing in Cuba. “It’s not really a big deal,” he said. He also twisted his right ankle on Wednesday night though he deemed the issue minor and refused any treatment . . . The Mets are encouraging fans to take public transit during their next homestand which begins on Friday night. Heavier than usual traffic is expected because of the U.S. Open.

New York Sports