By Ed Coleman
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The Mets staged their annual intra-squad matchup on Friday, prior to their exhibition opener on Saturday vs. the Braves. Team B edged Team A 3-2, the winning run scoring on Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly that brought Jordany Valdespin home.
But Scott Hairston stole the spotlight, homering twice for both Team A runs. Hairston led off the game with a towering shot off D.J. Carrasco, then went deep in his next at bat against Tim Byrdak. Hairston’s likely role is a reserve outfielder and righty bat off the bench, so he was pleased to deliver a positive first impression.
The other likely reserve outfielder – Willie Harris – also homered to tie the game at 2, that coming off loser Manny Alvarez. And catcher Dusty Ryan took Taylor Tankersley deep as well. On the pitching side, Carrasco was sharp, striking out 4 in 2 innings, and Ryota Igarashi (remember him?) pitched two hitless innings while striking out two. In addition, lefty reliever Mike O’Connor threw two scoreless, and young Josh Stinson walked two but struck out 3 in his two innings of work.
The Mets will have back-to-back games against the Braves to open the Grapefruit League season. Both games can be heard on WFAN.
On Saturday in Port St. Lucie, Henrry Mejia will start, followed by Manny Acosta, Pedro Beato, Taylor Buchholz, John Lujan, Armando Rodriguez and probably Blaine Boyer, who was scheduled to throw in the intra-squad game but was backed off with back stiffness. On Sunday up at Disney World, Chris Young will get the start vs. Atlanta, folllowed by Oliver Perez, Pat Misch, Boof Bonser, Igarashi and O’Connor.
Also on Sunday, the University of Michigan will scrimmage Met players left behind on the trip – pitching against the Wolverines will be Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, Tankersley, Boyer and Byrdak.
C U soon