JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The New York Mets and Florida Marlins each have several decisions to make before they meet on opening day. The No. 4 starter spot does not appear to be one of them.
Chris Young pitched six scoreless innings for the Mets and Anibal Sanchez matched him for five before the Marlins rallied for a 5-0 victory on over New York on Saturday.
Young allowed four singles and struck out three. He has allowed three runs in 20 1-3 innings this spring. The Marlins had runners on first and second with no outs twice against Young and could not score.
“He just continues to throw the ball exactly how we want him to,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “The command of his stuff is getting better and better. I’ve talked to guys that have faced him and they said you just can’t pick the ball up until late.”
Young has secured a spot in the Mets’ rotation after signing an incentive-laden free agent contract in January. He made four starts for the Padres last season while struggling with right shoulder problems.
“The main thing is physically I feel real good,” Young said. “I felt like my fastball command is the best it’s been today. I was very, very happy with it. It kind of carried over from the last couple of innings against Washington in my last start.”
Sanchez was pitching for the first time in 10 days. He skipped a start because of a bruised right lower leg.
Sanchez allowed five hits and got some help from his defense, which turned a double play in the second inning just before Brad Emaus’ double. In the fifth, catcher John Buck picked off Mets catcher Ronny Paulino at second base.
“He wanted to go one more inning but I didn’t’ want to push him,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Sanchez has not pitched since he took a line drive off the shin in a game against the Mets. He said he struggled with his off-speed pitches early from the inactivity but were strong late.
Sanchez said his leg is still a little sore but he moved well, including covering first base when necessary.
“I’m still doing my rehab on my leg,” he said. “I feel it a little bit.”
The Marlins rallied for five runs in the seventh against Bobby Parnell and Mike O’Connor.
Dewayne Wise, Emilio Bonifacio and Ozzie Martinez had consecutive run-scoring singles before Donnie Murphy drove in two with a double.
The Marlins bullpen pitched four hitless innings, striking out five and allowing one walk.
“Pitching sets the tone,” Rodriguez said. “We have seen that.”