03/31/10 3:53 PM ET
Wright, Bay, Carter all homer for Mets
Trio of homers off Marlins ace Johnson back Figueroa
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Wednesday, March 31
Marlins at the plate: After being limited to three singles through six innings, the Marlins rallied back with three unearned runs in the seventh inning. Dan Uggla lifted a sacrifice fly to center, and with two outs, Chris Coghlan reached on a three-base error by Angel Pagan in center field. Singles by John Baker and Donnie Murphy helped set up the run. Coghlan singled to open the game, and he advanced to third base before being stranded. The Marlins mounted little offense through six innings, collecting three total singles. In the second inning, they threatened after Baker and Bryan Petersen each singled, but they didn't score.Mets at the plate: Home run power has helped carry the Mets all spring, and more of it was displayed on Wednesday. Against Florida starter Josh Johnson, New York received solo homers from Jason Bay, David Wright and Chris Carter. The Mets have 37 homers in Grapefruit League play, the most of any National League team.
Leading off the second inning, Bay connected on an opposite-field homer. It was his fourth homer of the spring. In the fourth inning, Wright also went deep to the opposite field, homer No. 5 for the third baseman. Carter homered with two outs in the fifth inning. Wright also doubled in the first inning. In the sixth inning, the Mets added two runs. Omir Santos hit an RBI groundout, and Bay, who had walked, scored on a wild pitch.Marlins on the mound: Johnson, who also will face the Mets on Opening Day, returned to the mound after he was scratched last Friday due to a stomach virus. Johnson was tagged for three solo homers, and he allowed five hits total. The Florida ace struck out five and didn't walk a batter. He threw 92 pitches with 56 strikes. In his first four innings, Johnson's workload was pretty much identical. He had three innings of throwing exactly 19 pitches with 12 strikes. In the second inning, he threw 20 pitches with 12 strikes. Reliever Dan Meyer helped Johnson get out of a jam in the fifth inning. With two outs and Pagan on first, Meyer relieved Johnson. Luis Castillo singled, but the Florida left-hander struck out Wright to end the threat. Leo Nunez had a 27-pitch sixth inning, allowing two runs.
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Mets on the mound: Nelson Figueroa had a pretty clean three-inning start. The right-hander didn't allow a run, scattering three hits while striking out three. Of his 38 pitches, 30 were strikes. Raul Valdes threw a perfect inning, striking out one in the fourth, and Bobby Parnell worked the fifth inning. Prospect Jenrry Mejia worked two innings, giving up three unearned runs.Worth noting: The Marlins are down to one spot on their 25-man roster. In the mix are Brian Barden, Murphy and Hector Luna. Murphy started at second base on Wednesday. ... Wes Helms has been away from the team for a couple of days, tending to personal matters at his home in Alabama. Helms is expected back on Thursday. ... Mike Jacobs, fighting for a roster spot with the Mets, made two standout plays in the fifth inning. He robbed Gaby Sanchez of a ground-ball single, and Jacobs deflected a hard-hit ball by Coghlan. The ball rolled toward second, where Castillo collected it and flipped to Parnell for the out at first. A terrific defensive play by Wright in the first inning robbed Hanley Ramirez of an RBI base hit. Grapefruit League records: Marlins 13-14-1; Mets 14-13-1 Up next: Newly acquired left-hander Nate Robertson, who will be the fifth starter, will make his Marlins debut on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. ET in the Grapefruit League finale at Roger Dean Stadium. On Tuesday, Florida obtained Robertson from the Tigers for prospect Jay Voss. The Cardinals will go with Brad Penny.
The Mets wrap up their home schedule at Digital Domain Park on Thursday at 12:10 p.m. on MLB.TV, facing the Nationals. John Maine is scheduled to throw, while the Nationals will go with Jason Marquis.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.