PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Wearing a bright green cap along with his blue and orange jersey on St. Patrick’s Day, Jacob deGrom allowed one hit in five scoreless innings Tuesday to help the New York Mets beat a Miami Marlins split squad 6-4.
DeGrom, the NL Rookie of the Year, struck out six and walked none. He has struck out 12 and walked one in three spring training starts.
“I’m just going out there, trying to repeat my delivery and pound the strike zone and locate,” deGrom said. “I’m trying to eliminate those walks, because every time I walk someone they seem to score.
“I’m very pleased. This week I worked on my delivery a little bit. I worked on staying smooth and I really felt good out there.”
Mets manager Terry Collins is pleased with how deGrom trusts his stuff and throws strikes.
“At this time of year, when you’ve got a power arm, that’s impressive,” Collins said. “He’s so athletic and has such a great feel for what he does and how he goes about it, he knows that’s what he’s got to do.”
Michael Morse hit his second home run, a two-run drive in the seventh, to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead.
“I saw a good pitch to hit,” said Morse, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal this offseason. “I tried to stay short and quick to the ball and put it in play, and I got a good result.”
Johnny Monell hit a three-run homer for the Mets, and prospect Kevin Plawecki added a solo shot.
Marlins starter Brad Hand gave up two hits in four shutout innings. Jordanny Valdespin had three hits for Miami.
Hand was pleased he didn’t give up a run but was frustrated he walked three batters.
“I’ve got to limit those,” he said. “I’m just fighting my delivery a little bit right now, but it was nice to get four innings in and get my pitch count up a little bit.”
Hand said the Marlins coaching staff has not indicated how he’ll be used this season, but he is getting stretched out as a starter. Hand pitched in 32 games for the Marlins in 2014– 16 starts and 16 relief appearances.
Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery along with a recent hamstring strain, threw a bullpen session Tuesday.
Mets reliever Vic Black (shoulder) threw off flat ground Tuesday and is hoping to throw off a mound Friday or Saturday. Collins said he hoped Black would be ready by the start of the season.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Mets wore green hats with their traditional, interlocking NY in orange. Last season, the Mets wore a green hat with Mr. Met in a black leprechaun’s hat. The Mets also had a green shamrock painted on the bases at Tradition Field.
“It will be nice to have an extra day,” pitcher Matt Harvey said of the Mets’ day off Wednesday. “I think a lot of us are needing an off day, which will be nice to sleep in a little bit.”
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