Cespedes tallies RBI as Mets tie Yankees

March 9th, 2016

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson collected two hits in his spring debut and Yoenis Cespedes added an RBI single Wednesday in the Mets' 4-4 tie with the Yankees at Tradition Field. The interborough rivals will play again in Tampa later this month.

After sitting out the Mets' first seven Grapefruit League games due to an eye issue, Granderson singled in his first at-bat off Yankees starter Ivan Nova, then again off James Kaprielian in the fifth. Though few of Granderson's old Yankees teammates made the trip across the state from Tampa, he spent plenty of time pregame hugging and chatting with those who did.

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"They've got a great organization, a great team," Granderson said. "I enjoyed my four years over there. I looked forward to seeing them today."

Nova pitched three scoreless innings for the Yankees, but Kaprielian caved for four runs -- including Cespedes' RBI single -- in the fifth. Infield prospect T.J. Rivera contributed a two-run double to give the Mets the lead.

The Yankees mounted a comeback off reliever Antonio Bastardo in the ninth, tying the game on solo homers from Kyle Higashioka and Sebastian Valle.

Mets starter Jacob deGrom admitted to having something less than his best command in his Grapefruit League debut, but he held the Yankees to one run on five hits in three innings.

"I threw a ball halfway up the backstop, and that wasn't what I wanted to do," deGrom said, laughing. "But that was my second time facing hitters. I was just getting back out there and trying to get a feel for things. You get a little amped up."

Up next for the Yankees: Two key pitchers will take the mound Thursday for the Yankees' split-squad game against the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who had a team-best 14 wins in 2015 before being shut down for the season in early September with right elbow inflammation, will make his first start this spring. Manager Joe Girardi said that closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been suspended for the first 30 regular-season games by MLB under its new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy, also will pitch in the game. Right-hander Bryan Mitchell will be the starter for the Yankees' other split-squad game against the Orioles in Sarasota. Watch both games at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.

Up next for the Mets:Noah Syndergaard will become the last member of the Mets' rotation to debut when he faces the Cardinals in a 1:10 p.m. ET game Thursday at Tradition Field. Syndergaard will oppose left-hander Jaime Garcia. Watch the game on MLB.TV.