Jonathon Niese and the Mets welcomed the Houston Astros to Tradition Field tonight, as all of baseball is finishing up their Spring Training schedule in advance of Opening Day next week.
New York immediately put the pressure on Edgar Gonzalez, as Jordany Valdespin led the bottom of the first with a single, Collin Cowgill was hit by a pitch, and Ike Davis singled to load the bases for Marlon Byrd. Gonzalez minimized the damage to just one run, inducing a groundball double play off the bat of Byrd.
The scoring continued for the Mets in the third, with the table once again set by Valdespin and Cowgill with a single and walk, respectively. Byrd clubbed a ground-rule double to right-center field to extend the lead to 3-0. He then added his first homer of the Spring in the sixth inning, followed by Zach Lutz doubling home John Buck later that inning. Houston tried to counter with two eighth-inning runs, but it wasn’t enough; Josh Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom half to stretch the lead to 6-2, which was the eventual final score.
- In his final tune-up before Monday, Jonathon Niese threw 4.2 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7 Astro hitters. His final spring ERA is 1.23.
- Scott Rice contributed 1.2 no-hit innings, while Pedro Feliciano continues to get stronger with an inning of work on his own.
- Scott Atchison was the only Mets hurler to get touched up tonight, as Bobby Parnell followed the veteran righty to close the door in the ninth.
- Although five different players contributed to the 12-hit New York attack, the Mets went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, leaving 8 men on base.
- John Buck collected three hits (hitting .343), while Marlon Byrd collected two hits and three RBI (hitting .346).
- Lucas Duda had a tough night at the plate for the first time in a while as tonight’s designated hitter. The Dude went 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts.
- Justin Turner started the game at third base, but had to leave in the top of the second with a strained left calf. Terry Collins doesn’t believe the injury is serious.
New York travels to face the Washington Nationals for a 1:05p start. The ballgame will be aired on ESPN.