PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida -- The Detroit Tigers got the first run of the game, but the New York Mets stayed hot throughout the entire game on Monday to win at Traditional Field, 7-3.
On the first pitch of the game, with Bartolo Colon tossing, Anthony Gose ripped a three-bagger and Casey McGehee followed with an RBI single in the top of the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
“It’s very exciting, particularly because it means I’m back here with the Mets,” Colon, who re-signed despite the likelihood he ends up in the bullpen this season.
Asdrubal Cabrera notched a two-RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes, a former Tigers outfielder, got an RBI single of his own to give the Mets the lead, 3-1. Cespedes was traded from the Tigers to the Mets on July 31, 2015 for pitching prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.
Mike Pelfrey, who toed the slab for the Tigers, gave up two earned runs on one hit and two walks across 2.1 innings pitched. On Wednesday against the New York Yankees, Pelfrey pitched three perfect innings. Colon allowed one run on four hits through 3.0 innings of work.
“I think at this point there are only about three players over there that I played with,” Pelfrey said. “The turnover’s pretty good, but the coaching staff’s the same, and [media relations director] Jay Horwitz came over this morning. ... When I left here I was coming off Tommy John, so I understood it. There were no hard feelings like that. I enjoyed my time here. It was fun to come back here. We can be friends off the field, but when we stepped on the field, I wanted to beat them. It was good to come back and see everybody. I feel like I was here maybe 10 years ago. It feels like a long time ago.”
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Neil Walker hit his first home run of the spring to right field. The homer was off Mark Lowe and gave the Mets a 4-1 lead. Justin Wilson served up a two-run homer to Lucas Duda, which put the Tigers down by five runs.
It was great to see Jeurys Familia back in action for the Mets. Familia struck out two during 3.0 innings. He did not blow a save after July 30 during the regular season in 2015.
“Because I threw a lot of innings and we got to the playoffs -- a long season last year, everybody threw a lot of innings -- they wanted to take it easy a little bit,” Familia said about delaying his first exhibition appearance until now.
James McCann singled on a ground ball up the middle to score McGehee, but in the eighth inning T.J. Rivera got the run back as he scored Johnny Monell. A wild pitch off the hand of Duane Below scored Mike Gerber, who doubled earlier in the inning, to give the Tigers their final run of the game.
Nick Castellanos left the action due to tightness in his lower back. The injury situation has been on-and-on and back-and-forth. The third baseman will probably sit out on Tuesday, but should be ready to rock-and-roll by the end of this week.
"He said it started tightening a little more, so we took him out," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "We'd rather he didn't have it, but if it was serious he wouldn't have even started the game."
The Tigers will battle the Tampa Bay Rays (3-3) at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Shane Green will start for the Tigers, while Erasmo Ramirez will oppose on Thursday. The Mets have Matt Harvey, the team ace, going against the Atlanta Braves.