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03/29/10 3:55 PM ET

Mets hold off Marlins in split-squad action

Southpaw Niese solid in start; Francoeur cranks three hits

METS (ss) 7, MARLINS 6
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Monday, March 29

Marlins at the plate: Jorge Cantu had a two-run single in the Marlins' four-run rally in the third. He and Bryan Peterson had two hits each. Hanley Ramirez and Mike Lamb contributed doubles.

Mets at the plate: Jeff Francoeur had three hits, one a double, and scored three runs, and starter Jon Niese and Henry Blanco drove in two runs each. The Mets scored five times in the second inning, and after the Marlins scored four times in the third, once more in the fourth. Blanco and Dan Murphy had two hits each.

Marlins on the mound: Anibal Sanchez was responsible for the seven runs the Mets accumulated in the first five innings. He allowed nine hits and walked three.

Mets on the mound: Jenrry Mejia made a positive impression, despite allowing a run in one inning. An error by Fernando Martinez in right field put a runner on base. The run scored on a ground-ball double play. The rookie followed Bobby Parnell (one run in one inning), and left-hander Raul Valdez (one-third of an inning), who replaced Niese on the fifth. Niese had allowed four runs (three earned) in the third, when he and Francoeur committed errors.

Worth noting: Cameron Maybin took a home run away from David Wright in the first inning, extending his glove and most of his arm over the center-field wall. ... Niese said he has moved past the last lingering doubt about his surgically repaired right leg. He threw 81 pitches, his high this spring, and experienced no problem. ... Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will keep a close eye on the final utility role over the next few days. Non-roster invitees Brian Barden, Donnie Murphy and Hector Luna are on equal footing. Barden appears to have the edge based on his ability to play shortstop and corner outfield positions.

Grapefruit League records: Marlins 12-13; Mets 13-12-1.

Up next: Because of a rainout of their road split-squad game Monday, the Mets have Oliver Perez starting against the Cardinals on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. ET in Port St. Lucie, opposite Chris Carpenter, live on MLB.TV. Johan Santana makes his final Spring Training appearance in a Minor League game Tuesday morning. He will pitch on the Minor League side of the Mets' complex.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.