Walker, Duda homer; Colon efficient vs. Tigers

March 7th, 2016

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Neil Walker and Lucas Duda hit their first spring homers on Monday, Bartolo Colon delivered three solid innings and the home half of a Mets split-squad cruised to a 7-3 win over the Tigers at Tradition Field.
Walker's homer was a fourth-inning solo shot off Tigers right-hander Mark Lowe, giving the Mets a 4-1 lead. The second baseman hit 16 long balls last season, all of them as a left-handed batter, prompting thoughts that he will cede significant playing time against lefties this season to Wilmer Flores.
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No such concerns surround Duda, who actually hit 55 points higher and slugged 79 points better against same-sided pitchers last season. As if to prove that nothing has changed, Duda's two-run blast came off a lefty -- Justin Wilson -- in the fifth.

In his second outing as a Tiger, former Mets starter Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs (two earned) over 2 1/3 innings. Though the Tigers clawed back on a James McCann RBI single in the sixth, they could not escape their early hole.

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Detroit actually led for the first 2 1/2 innings thanks to a Casey McGehee single that plated Anthony Gose, but the Mets took the lead for good on Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run single and Yoenis Cespedes' RBI single in the third.

Colon was his usual efficient self, scattering four hits and a run over three innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
"I'm excited, particularly because I'm back here with the Mets," Colon said through an interpreter. "The most important thing is just that I feel healthy."

Up next for the Mets: Unlike last spring, when cameras followed Matt Harvey's every move in his return from Tommy John surgery, Harvey has remained mostly in the background this spring. But there will still be plenty of buzz surrounding his Grapefruit League debut, scheduled for Tuesday against the Braves at Disney World. Harvey will oppose right-hander Matt Wisler in the 1:05 p.m. ET game, live on Gameday Audio.
Up next for the Tigers: Right-hander Shane Greene makes his second Grapefruit League outing, and first start, when the Tigers take on the visiting Rays at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Greene was sidelined with a shoulder aneurysm that led to blood clots in his fingers last summer and had not pitched in seven months before tossing two shutout innings against the Braves on March 3. The Rays will start right-hander Erasmo Ramirez.