The New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox, 10-2, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL on Saturday afternoon (box score).
Zack Wheeler looked terrific, pitching four innings (43 pitches), allowing one hit and striking out three. His fastball touched 97 MPH and his location was impressively locked in. After entering the day with a 10.13 Grapefruit League earned-run average, he lowered that mark to a palatable 4.05.
The Mets had a host of offensive stars in today’s win. Pete Alonso went 2-for-4 with a towering solo homer in the sixth that exited the ballpark, Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, J.D. Davis went 3-for-4, Rymer Liriano went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, and Luis Guillorme went 2-for-2 (hitting .429 this spring) with two runs and an RBI.
The Mets’ 28-year-old righty benefitted from some fine play at third base via J.D. Davis in the second inning, who made a fantastic diving stop to retire J.D. Martinez, before setting down Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia (on two more Davis putouts, respectively) to finish off another clean frame.
Wheeler allowed his first hit of the afternoon to Christian Vasquez, a looping single into center field, with two outs in the third, before Pete Alonso nabbed a screaming Benintendi liner at first base to end the inning, then retired the Sox in order again in the fourth.
Kyle Dowdy took the ball in the fifth, allowing a towering two-out double to Mitch Moreland and then an RBI single to Blake Swihart in the next at-bat, cutting the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Vasquez then hit an opposite-field double into the corner in left and Benintendi added an RBI single to make it a 4-2 game and bringing Dowdy’s spring ERA to an unsightly 12.46.
Tyler Bashlor came out for the sixth, retiring Betts before Devers hit a triple off the wall in center-field (Keon Broxton exited the game after colliding into the wall). He then struck out Martinez and got Bryce Brentz to fly out to leave the runner stranded.
Bashlor remained on for the seventh and set down the Sox in order, lowering his spring ERA to 1.50 and further increasing his chances of heading north at the end of camp.
The Red Sox’ Eduardo Rodriguez retired four Mets in a row before J.D. Davis notched the team’s first hit, an opposite-field, one-out single in the second. Then the floodgates opened up.
Rymer Liriano drew a leadoff walk in the third, advanced to third on two groundballs, then Brandon Nimmo drove him home with a soft grounder back up the middle, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Davis added his second hit of the day with a two-out rope to center field in the fourth, and Liriano reached for the second time with his leadoff double off Matt Barnes in the fifth.
Luis Guillorme brought him home in the next at-bat with a double off the wall in right-center field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead, and Nimmo notched his first triple of the spring and second base hit of the day to bring Guillorme home with one in the fifth, increasing the Mets’ lead to 3-0.
Nimmo came home to score during the next at-bat on a Barnes wild pitch to make it a 4-0 game, then Keon Broxton got in on the fun with a single to left field, the Mets’ fourth hit of the inning.
Pete Alonso led off the top of the sixth with a moonshot home run that exited the ballpark in Fort Myers, his third of the spring, giving the Mets a 5-2 lead. Davis singled in the next at-bat for his third hit of the game and Liriano added his second hit with an infield single after him.
Tyler Thornburg then allowed Davis to score on a wild pitch to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-2 and Guillorme shot an infield hit towards shortstop to load the bases for Rajai Davis, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Liriano and make it a 7-2 game.
Alonso singled with two outs in the sixth, his second hit of the day, before exiting the game for a pinch-runner.
Tomas Nido was 0-f0r-3 before his blooper dropped in for a base hit in the eighth, raising his Spring Training batting average to an even .200. Guillorme drew a one-out walk, then Rajai Davis hit an RBI double off the wall to give the Mets an 8-2 lead.
Braxton Lee then brought home Guillorme and Davis with a flare hit over shortstop to extend the Mets’ lead to 10-2.
The Mets head back to Port St. Lucie for a 1:05 PM Sunday afternoon tilt against the St. Louis Cardinals. The game will be televised on WPIX and broadcast on WCBS 880.