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Originally published Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

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Mets still looking for first no-hitter | Baseball Notebook

Jonathon Niese took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but couldn't snap the Mets' string of games without one — now 7,191 and counting.

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NEW YORK — Jonathon Niese had retired 15 straight batters as Easter Sunday's game reached the seventh inning, and anticipation at Citi Field was building.

Could this be the first no-hitter in the New York Mets' 51 seasons?

Then Dan Uggla worked a 10-pitch walk, and Atlanta's Freddie Freeman singled cleanly on the next pitch.

No matter, Niese was smiling after New York completed a season-opening sweep with a 7-5 victory. For the first time in 27 years, the Mets are 3-0 while the hated Yankees are 0-3.

"We're going to surprise some people this year," Niese said.

On what would have been the 58th birthday of the late Mets star Gary Carter, New York improved to 3-0 for the first time since starting 4-0 in 2007. They have a .320 batting average and a 1.67 earned-run average.

One thing the Mets still don't have is that elusive no-hitter. Their wait has reached 7,191 games, and they are the oldest team in the majors without one — startling for a franchise that produced pitchers such as Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Dwight Gooden. San Diego (6,846) is the only other big-league team without a no-hitter.

Niese said later he had been thinking about a no-hitter since, "I guess, the first inning."

He was pretty sure his pitch count — 115, set before the game by manager Terry Collins — wouldn't have kept him from going for it if he'd reached the ninth.

"I'd have ran back out. It would have been hard to take me out," Niese said.

Angels not panicking

ANAHEIM, Calif. — With 159 games this season and nine more years left on Albert Pujols' contract, nobody is terribly worried about the Angels' 1-2 record just yet.

Los Angeles lost again to Kansas City, 7-3, despite two hits by the team's new $240 million slugger. Pujols is 3 for 10 with two doubles in his first three games.

"We've got a great team here, and if we're going to get down about losing two in a row, then why are we even here?" said Howie Kendrick.

"It's not a concern," said teammate Mark Trumbo. "The talent is there."

Notes

• The Red Sox and Yankees are both 0-3, the first time that's happened since 1966. New manager Bobby Valentine remains winless in Boston.

• Detroit placed former Mariners RHP Doug Fister on the 15-day disabled list. He suffered a strained left side on Saturday.

• RHP Dustin Moseley (strained right shoulder) became the second San Diego starter in less than a week to go on the 15-day DL. He joined RHP Tim Stauffer.

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