Marlins connect for 19 hits; veteran Johnson goes 5-for-5
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets' Spring Training continued to move in different directions on Monday, when they split two games with the Marlins. Dillon Gee pitched brilliantly in a "B" game victory in the morning; Bartolo Colon less so in the varsity game in the afternoon. The Marlins scored three times in the fourth inning against the veteran and defeated the Mets, 11-1, for their seventh victory against three losses.
The Mets scored seven runs in the eighth inning on Sunday but could not duplicate that on Monday. A lineup aligned as it may be come Opening Day loaded the bases with none out in the first inning against left-hander Brad Hand, but Curtis Granderson, Josh Satin and Travis d'Arnaud struck out.
The Mets amassed four hits until the eighth inning against Hand -- a candidate for the fifth spot in the Marlins' rotation -- Double-A prospect Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena.
Colon, making his first game appearance for the Mets, allowed a hit in the first and another baserunner in the third, when shortstop Ruben Tejada committed an error -- his fourth in his past three games.
The Marlins broke through in the fourth, with Ed Lucas tripling in two runs and Jake Marisnick driving in Lucas with a groundout. The Fish scored twice more in the seventh, when Giancarlo Stanton rocketed a two-run homer against rookie Jack Leathersich. The home run followed a foul ball that had been hit significantly farther.
A four-run eighth, highlighted by Derek Dietrich's two-run homer, capped the scoring for the Marlins.
Colon wasn't displeased with his workday. He described it as "meaningful," as he was better able to locate his pitches, a critical aspect of his work. Given how he pitches, relying on movement and changing speeds, he had no problem facing a team the Mets will play often once the season begins. Younger pitchers often prefer not to face teams too often in Spring Training and early in the season.
Up next: Left-hander Brian Flynn, in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation though he'll likely open the season at Triple-A New Orleans, will get the start against the Red Sox on the road at 1:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Rob Brantly will catch. Among the regulars making the trip are Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Casey McGehee.