PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets manager Terry Collins saw a lot of things he liked in Saturday’s 10-inning 5-5 tie with against the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets battled back from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 5-3 thanks to a two-run, fifth-inning homer from Fernando Martinez, an RBI-double by Jordany Valdespin in the ninth and a two-run blast to dead center by veteran Willie Harris in the bottom of the 10th.
“That’s why we wear the uniform, to play the games,” Collins said. “I love to watch these guys play. I know it’s just spring training, but they came back and came back and a lot of bright things happened out there today.”
The Mets got a strong performance from starter Jenrry Mejia, who allowed an unearned run and needed just 19 pitches in his two innings of work.
“I feel pretty good, because when I was in the big leagues last year, my breaking ball wasn’t too good,” Mejia said. “When I went back to the Dominican Republic, I worked on spinning it more, throwing it with more speed. Last year, I don’t have that pitch, but now I think I have it.”
Mejia, slated to start the season at Triple-A Buffalo, also featured a change-up that also impressed his new manager.
“(Mejia) threw his breaking ball really well and he used his change-up today,” Collins said. “Look, I think this guy is going to be really, really good.”
The Braves built a 2-0 lead with an unearned run off Mejia in the second and a solo home run by Eric Hinske off Mets’ reliever Pedro Beato in the fourth.
But Braves’ closer candidate Craig Kimbell surrendered the lead when he gave up the two-run blast by Martinez in the fifth.
The Braves managed to take a 3-2 lead with a run off Mets’ reliever Manny Acosta in the ninth, only to lose it in the bottom of the inning.
Atlanta then scored two in the 10th, only to see Harris deposit the ball over the center-field wall to secure the tie.