The New York Mets opened their spring training schedule with a 4-3 victory over the reigning National League East champion Atlanta Braves. The Mets used nine pitchers on the afternoon and had five hits — included two home runs — in the winning effort.
Walker Lockett, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians in the Kevin Plawecki trade, started for the Mets and allowed two runs on three hits and one walk in one-and-two-third innings. After a flawless first, he ran into trouble in the second and was unable to make it out of the inning, allowing two runs before being lifted for Sean Burnett.
Pete Alonso misplayed an Amed Rosario throw in the second, which was officially ruled a hit. The team’s top prospect made up for his miscue in the bottom half of the inning, as he powered a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw to tie the game. He added a walk later in the game and was replaced by Dom Smith in the fifth inning.
- Robinson Cano nearly hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Met, driving a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in left field. He drove in a run in his next at-bat on an infield single that plated Jeff McNeil and finished the afternoon with one hit in three at-bats.
- J.D. Davis became the first Mets’ baserunner of the spring after recording an infield single with one out in the second. He came in to score on the Alonso long ball.
- Rymer Liriano led off the sixth inning with an opposite field home run on the second pitch he saw, which represented the winning run for the Mets.
- McNeil started in left field and looked comfortable in his first outfield action.
- Hector Santiago picked up the win but had to navigate past some self-inflicted damage. He hit two batters and walked another but escaped without giving up any runs
- Anthony Kay, who ranked tenth on our list of the Mets’ top twenty-five prospects for 2019, pitched the seventh and found himself in a jam after an Andres Gimenez error and a single put runners on first and third with no outs. He picked Izzy Wilson off first base and proceeded to strike out Austin Riley and get Rafael Ortega to pop up to escape the inning with the lead in tact.
- Tim Tebow entered the game in left field in the fifth inning and went hitless in two at-bats. He grounded out to second base both times.
- Stephen Villines allowed a home run to Atlanta’s Connor Lien with one out in the eighth to bring the Braves to within one.
- Eric Hanhold closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, pitching around a one-out single by Ray-Patrick Didder.
Full box score: MLB.com.