NEW YORK -- Vic Black was somewhat of an unknown when he was traded to the Mets as the player to be named in the deal that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh. Black had only pitched in three Major League games, having spent almost all of the last five seasons in the Minor Leagues.
Since joining New York on Aug. 29, the right-hander has worked his way into critical late-game situations, including a spotless 12th in Sunday's 1-0 win over the Marlins to earn his first Major League win.
"I really like the guy and I really like his stuff," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I've been wanting to see him in the eighth inning in some big situations against some middle-of-the-lineup guys."
With the Mets holding a two-run lead with one out in the eighth inning of Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader, Collins brought Black in to finish the inning. He struck out Miami pinch-hitter Christian Yelich, allowed a single to Donovan Solano, but then struck out Justin Ruggiano to end the inning.
It was a key spot against a few of the Marlins' better hitters.
Black's eight appearances with the Mets this season haven't been sparkling. He's allowed three runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. But the 25-year-old also has six strikeouts and just one walk.
"We know he's got a good arm. One of the things we're seeing is we're seeing some strikes," Collins said. "For the most part, when he needs to make a pitch, it's been down."
When Bobby Parnell went on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck that ultimately required surgery, LaTroy Hawkins slid out of the eight-inning role and became the Mets' closer. Collins has gone to David Aardsma in the eighth at times, but he's also seeing he now has Black as a reliable option.
"He's been very effective," Collins said.
Francisco likely unavailable three to four days
NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins said reliever Frank Francisco will likely be unavailable for three to four days after the right-hander took a comebacker off his hand in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Marlins.
With one out in the eighth inning, Logan Morrison hit a line drive back up the middle that drilled Francisco in the pinkie area of his right hand. The right-hander managed to get the ball and throw over to first for the second out, but had to leave the game. He went for X-rays, which showed no broken bones.
But the contusion is going to keep him out of action for at least a few days. The spot where he was hit was still swollen when he arrived to the ballpark on Sunday morning. But Francisco said some of the pain has subsided.
"It doesn't hurt as much," Francisco said. "Last night, it was pumping. Now, it's only when I move it."
Francisco said he just has to "see and wait" to determine when he can get back in a game.
It's been a frustrating season for Francisco, who underwent surgery in the offseason to remove a bone spur from his elbow. Entering Spring Training, he was in line to be the Mets' closer for a second straight year, but had to go on the disabled list on March 31 with inflammation in his right elbow.
After a long rehab process, Francisco was finally activated on Sept. 7. He's made four appearances, allowing three runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings.
• Wilmer Flores started at third base Sunday for the second straight game. Collins said Flores' ankles have been feeling better after work in the weight room and exercises with team physical therapists.
It showed in Sunday night's game as Flores went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Collins said the 22-year-old was able to use his lower half to hit.
Still, Collins said it's a day-to-day situation.
"They're going to get beat up again," Collins said. "It's going to take a little time for them to be 100 percent again."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.