March 21, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Lucas Duda (21) gets a hit against the St. Louis Cardinals in the spring training game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

3/23 Game Recap: Mets Move Past Nationals, 3-1


Rafael Montero isn’t expected to make the Big League club out of Spring Training, but he sure has shown what type of ability he’s capable of in the near future. He put together a solid outing against Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals, who made the trip to Port St. Lucie to play the Amazins at Tradition Field. The scoring started in the second inning, as John Buck drew a walk from Gio, then went from first to third on a Lucas Duda single. Zach Lutzdrove Buck home with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Nats didn’t respond to that until the seventh inning, as Josh Edgin loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to two singles and a fielding error by Lutz. Edgin was able to limit the damage to only one run, allowing a sacrifice fly from Francisco Soriano. Duda answered immediately in the bottom of the seventh, hitting a solo homer to right field to lead off the frame. Travis d’Arnaud added some insurance in the eighth with an RBI single, which was enough for their 11th victory of the spring.

Highlights:

  • Rafael Montero impressed over 4.2 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk on 3 strikeouts. His Spring ERA lowered to 2.08 in Grapefruit League play.
  • Josh Edgin gets his third blown save of the spring, but also gets his second win. Pedro Feliciano, Robert Carson, Jeurys Familia, and Brandon Lyon all contributed scoreless relief appearances in the victory.
  • Mets pitching stranded 12 Nationals runners today, and Washington went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch-hit for Collin Cowgill and played some center field. He went 0-for-1 with a strikeout in his only at-bat, lowering his average to .053.
  • Justin Turner started the game at second base and went 0-for-3 as he prepares to take Daniel Murphy‘s spot on the field, if he starts the season on the disabled list.
  • Lucas Duda contributed with two more hits today, including the go-head home run in the bottom of the seventh. The longball ties him for the team lead this Spring with Jordany Valdespin (4 HR)

Next up:

New York will split their squad up for the last time before the regular season starts; half will be making the trip to Jupiter to play the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05pm, while the other half will stay in PSL to take on the Tigers at 1:10pm. The tilt against Detroit can be seen on WPIX.

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