03/25/09 4:28 PM ET
Perez has rocky outing in Mets' loss
Lefty allows six runs in 3 2/3 innings; Villone gives up four runs
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Wednesday, March 25
Tigers at the plate: Placido Polanco hit a three-run home run off Oliver Perez in a four-run fourth inning. Clete Thomas hit an RBI double later in the inning. Dane Sardinha had two hits. Left-handed-hitting Jeff Larish had three hits, one a two-run double with the bases loaded against left-hander Ron Villone in the sixth. Adam Everett doubled leading off the game, but jammed his left ankle sliding into second base and was removed from the game.
Mets at the plate: Fernando Tatis, starting against a left-handed pitcher, had three hits, including a well-struck double. Carlos Beltran drove in a run with a double in the fifth. Jonathan Malo (single) drove in a run and Brian Schneider (single) plated two runs in the fifth.
Tigers on the mound: Nate Robertson, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, was removed having pitched two-thirds of an inning. Robertson suffered a sprained left thumb when he was struck on his pitching hand by a throw that could have completed a 3-6-1 double play. Zach Miner replaced Robertson and pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one walk.
Mets on the mound: Perez was gone after 3 2/3 innings, having allowed six runs on six walks and five hits. The last run against him scored on a double against Carlos Muniz. Villone's chances of being the second left-handed setup man took a hit when the veteran reliever allowed two run-scoring doubles by left-handed hitters in the sixth.
Grapefruit League records: Mets: 10-12-1, Tigers: 8-13-1
Up next: John Maine, armed with a longer stride and a new slider grip, will confront the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET. He is to be followed by Bobby Parnell, Nelson Figueroa, Brian Stokes and Villone. Adam Wainwright is the starter for St. Louis.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.