Dominant Harvey backed by Mets' big bats

March 13th, 2016

JUPITER, Fla. -- Matt Harvey pitched four scoreless innings in his second Grapefruit League start this spring and the Mets' bats were sizzling Sunday in an 11-0 win over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

Harvey looked sharp in lowering his ERA this spring to 1.29. The right-hander allowed only one hit, had four strikeouts and issued two walks during his 50-pitch outing.

Ruben Tejada led the offensive charge for the Mets, driving in three runs with a double and triple batting in the No. 8 spot in the lineup.

"I feel pretty good right now," Tejada said. "More at-bats, I'm getting better. I'm working on staying in the middle of the field, so I feel pretty good right now."

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton made his first appearance in a game since March 5. Stanton started the game in right field after being sidelined the past week with a sore right knee. He walked and grounded out in his two plate appearances before exiting the game after the sixth inning.

The Mets grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second, all the runs coming with two outs. Tejada started the scoring when he lined a two-run double down the left-field line. Tejada then scored on a throwing error by second baseman Dee Gordon.

Tejada drove in his third run of the game in the fourth with a triple to the gap in right-center. That stretched the Mets' lead to 4-0 and also chased Marlins starter Tom Koehler.

Koehler, who tossed three scoreless innings in his last start on Tuesday against the Yankees, gave up four runs -- three of them earned -- on five hits and a walk over 3 2-3 innings. He struck out three, throwing 60 pitches -- 39 for strikes.

"A little rough today it seemed like, and seemed like the whole day went that way for us," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. "It's a lot easier to swallow in March."

An RBI single by Yoenis Cespedes scored Alejandro De Aza to extend the Mets' lead to 5-0 in the fifth. The Mets then added six runs in the seventh on two-run doubles by Johnny Monell and Travis Taijeron and a two-run single by T.J. Rivera.

Juan Lagares hit a one-out triple over the head of Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna in the top of the first, but Lagares was erased attempting to score on a fly out to center by Cespedes. Ozuna delivered a perfect one-hop throw to catcher J.T. Realmuto, who applied the tag on a sliding Lagares to complete the double play.

Up next for the Mets: While David Wright makes his spring debut in a 1 p.m. ET Minor League game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Mets visit to Lakeland for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Tigers -- one of four consecutive road games. Seth Lugo will start for the Mets, replacing Jacob deGrom, who was scratched with a sore back. Left-hander Daniel Norris is to start for Detroit.

Up next for the Marlins: The Marlins have their only day off of the Grapefruit League schedule on Monday. They return to action Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET when they again host the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Lefty Justin Nicolino is expected to make his second start and third spring appearance.