The New York Mets (9-10-2) tied the St. Louis Cardinals (7-10) at 1-1 in this afternoon’s contest at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter.
The Mets struggled to plate a run through their first seven innings against Michael Wacha, despite scratching off five hits against him. They left six men on base through their first five innings, failing to notch another baserunner until the eighth, though they only struck out three times in their 33 at-bats as a team.
After a leadoff infield hit by Jeff McNeil and sacrifice bunt from Juan Lagares, defensive sub J.D. Davis launched a ground-rule double off reliever Mike Mayers to tie the game at one in the eighth inning. The Mets would load the bases on a walk from Michael Conforto (his second of the day) single by Pete Alonso (also his second), but all three runners were hung out to dry after Tomas Nido grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
Adeiny Hechavarria flicked a double down the left field line with one out in the ninth, but was stranded on a pair of groundouts to leave matters tied.
Among individual performances, McNeil went three-for-four with a leadoff double out of the leadoff spot. He has now raised his average this spring to .321. Shortstop Luis Guillorme and second baseman Robinson Cano each reached with singles. Guillorme also drew a walk to boost his OPS to 1.158.
With another multi-hit performance from Alonso, the top prospect is now hitting .385 in 39 at-bats and 13 starts this spring.
Zack Wheeler tossed five and one-third shutout innings, holding the Cardinals to just two hits while striking out four and walking none.
Center fielder Harrison Bader reached twice on a first-inning infield hit and a hit-by-pitch to open the third, stealing second on both occasions off Travis d’Arnaud. The battery was lifted in favor of Tyler Bashlor and Tomas Nido following a leadoff groundout in the sixth, ending Wheeler’s day at 72 pitches (51 for strikes).
Bashlor was greeted by yet another base hit from Bader, followed by a third stolen base. He would escape trouble, however, after inducing a Yadier Molina groundout and Dexter Fowler popout to keep it scoreless.
Justin Wilson yielded a leadoff triple to left fielder Jose Martinez in the bottom of the seventh. A pinch-runner would score two outs later following a double from Yairo Munoz to give St. Louis the lead. Wilson has now allowed six earned runs in five innings on the bump this spring.
Jeurys Familia struck out a batter in a three-up, three-down eighth. Tim Peterson retired two of the three he faced (one via strikeout), but was relieved by lefty Daniel Zamora following a two-out base hit from Rangel Ravelo. Zamora struck out his one assigned batter to end the game in a tie.
The Mets will play host tomorrow afternoon in an SNY-televised matchup with the Washington Nationals. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10, with a high of 81 degrees in the forecast. Steven Matz will get the ball, though Washington’s starter has yet to be announced.