Jonathon Niese pitched another fine ballgame Thursday. The way the Mets are hitting lately, that's often not enough.
Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in seven innings of four-hit ball, outdueling Niese to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 2-1 victory.
Niese (7-8) threw seven solid innings for the Mets, who batted .184 while going 4-7 on their penultimate homestand.
"I established all of my pitches, threw them all for strikes, got my cutter working on both sides of the plate," Niese said.
The left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA in eight starts since returning from a rotator cuff injury Aug. 11. He has one scheduled start remaining, next Wednesday in Cincinnati.
"Very impressive. He had command of all of his pitches and used them all today, and moved them all around," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Our focus with him for the next 10 days is to make sure he feels good to give him a good start towards his preparation for next year."
New York begins its final road trip Friday night in Philadelphia. All-Star third baseman David Wright is expected back in the lineup after missing seven weeks with a strained right hamstring.
Juan Perez went 3 for 3 with an RBI single in his hometown, and the World Series champions won for the eighth time in 11 games. After taking two of three from the Mets, the Giants won't even change hotels — they remain in New York this weekend to play three interleague games at Yankee Stadium.
Scores of San Francisco fans filled an otherwise empty Citi Field all series, and the Giants received a loud ovation as they walked off following the final out.
"It's nice to have a good fan base like that," Bumgarner said. "Especially this far away, it makes it a lot of fun when they care that much about us."
With a runner on second, Javier Lopez retired pinch-hitters Lucas Duda and Anthony Recker for his first save since Sept. 11 last year. Recker struck out to end a crisp game that took 2 hours, 37 minutes.
Giants closer Sergio Romo, who had a blown save the previous night, was rested after throwing 50 pitches over the past two days. New York rallied for four runs in the ninth to win 5-4 Wednesday.
Bumgarner (13-9) caught a potentially painful break in the sixth.
With runners at the corners, Wilmer Flores hit a sharp grounder that appeared headed up the middle for a tying single. But the ball smacked off Bumgarner's left shin and pinballed right to first baseman Buster Posey for the third out.
"Felt a lot better when we got him out," Bumgarner said.
He walked back to the dugout with no problem, then retired Eric Young Jr. with two on to end the seventh after a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti.
Jean Machi pitched a perfect eighth.
San Francisco scored twice in the fourth after Hector Sanchez hit a one-out double. Joaquin Arias blooped a single and Perez, who went to high school in New York City, delivered an RBI single.
Ehire Adrianza, making his first major league start, beat out a double-play ball to drive in another run.
Perez also walked during a perfect day at the plate and set a career high for hits while playing in front of family and friends.
"It's a moment that I would say I'll never forget," he said.
Josh Satin had a leadoff double in the fourth for New York's first hit. He scored on Daniel Murphy's single, but Bumgarner avoided further damage with the help of some fine defense by Arias at third.