Behind solid pitching and another impressive offensive showing, the New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-1, on Sunday afternoon at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, FL (box score).
Steven Matz had an outstanding outing, going four strong innings, allowing three hits and walking one with two strikeouts (59 pitches, 40 strikes). His Spring Training earned-run average now stands at 5.19 through three appearances (8.2 innings).
Jeff McNeil went 2-for-3 with a home run, Robinson Cano went 2-for-3 with a double, Amed Rosario hit a three-run homer in his first game back in the lineup since being hit by a pitch on Monday, and Travis d’Arnaud added his first homer of the spring to lead the Mets to a resounding win over the Cards.
Matz worked a perfect third, striking out Dylan Carlson and Matt Carpenter before getting DeJong to pop out, and maneuvered around a one-out single from O’Neill in a scoreless fourth.
Jeurys Familia pitched the sixth, working around a two-out single via Paul Goldschmidt, notching two strikeouts in the inning and lowering his spring ERA to 4.50.
Justin Wilson pitched a clean frame in the seventh, retiring Wieters, Munoz, and Wong, and Edwin Diaz worked around a solo homer via Dylan Carlson in the eighth to keep his Spring Training ERA at an economical 2.25.
Michael Conforto led off the second inning by sending a frozen rope down the line in right field for a double, the Mets’ first hit of the day off St. Louis’ starter, left-hander Austin Gomber. Pete Alonso followed with a single two batters later to put runners on the corners with one out and Dominic Smith brought Conforto home with a base hit in the next at-bat to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.
Amed Rosario, fresh off nearly a week-long break after being hit in the hand by a pitch on Monday, then took a Gomber pitch deep, just inside the foul pole in left field, for his second homer of the spring, extending the Mets’ lead to 4-0.
Jeff McNeil sent a Gomber pitch way into the berm in right field leading off the third to give the Mets a 5-0 lead. Robinson Cano followed with a double and Ramos drew a one-out walk, sending Gomber to the dugout and bringing left-hander Tommy Layne into the game, who walked Alonso to load the bases, but drew a 4-6-3 double play grounder out of Dom Smith to kill the rally.
Juan Lagares led off the bottom of the fourth with a deep drive off the wall in left-center field for his first triple of the spring. Amed Rosario was hit with a pitch in his left calf (stayed in the game) in the next at-bat, and Brandon Nimmo brought Lagares home with a shallow sacrifice fly into center field, giving the Mets a 6-0 lead.
McNeil added a single, his second hit of the day, and Rosario stole third before Cano drove him home with a single to left field, making it a 7-0 game.
Tim Tebow drew a walk and Dilson Herrera was hit by a Brett Cecil pitch in the hip with one out in the sixth, but Tebow was thrown out at home on an ill-advised rush to the plate on a Danny Espinosa fielder’s choice. Conforto struck out to strand Herrera and Espinosa.
Travis d’Arnaud hit his first homer of the spring leading off the seventh to give the Mets an 8-0 lead.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Tim Tebow contributed back-to-back singles to start the eighth and Herrera drew a walk to load the bases with none out. After Espinosa struck out, Rymer Liriano delivered a one-out single to give the Mets a 9-1 lead.
Jason Vargas (2.08 ERA this spring) and the Mets head to West Palm Beach to take on the Houston Astros at 1:05 PM at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The game will be televised on MLB Network (only for out of market fans), as well as on ATT Sportsnet in Houston.