deGrom builds up with longest spring outing

deGrom builds up with longest spring outing

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom improved as the game went along in his longest outing of Spring Training on Sunday, but he didn't like his beginning or end.

The right-handed deGrom worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits to the Marlins. He struck out four and walked one.

"I felt like early on I felt myself flying open a little bit. I kind of corrected that," said deGrom, who threw 72 pitches in his fourth Grapefruit League start. "Those middle innings were OK."

deGrom, who touched 100 mph in the start, served up a long solo homer by former teammate Matt den Dekker to lead off the second inning, a shot that careened off the light pole on the right-field berm. He worked scoreless frames in the third, fourth and fifth before the Marlins opened their six-run sixth with three more runs against the lanky pitcher.

Ichiro Suzuki led off the sixth with a single, then Adeiny Hechevarria followed with a triple to right. Dee Gordon's RBI single and a popout by Tyler Moore were the final two batters for deGrom.

"Ichiro didn't hit that ball very hard, and [then] a ball right down the line for a triple," deGrom said. "Then another ball by [shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera]. I felt OK, but they were ambushing me early on, so I was throwing a lot of off-speed.

"That last inning, I'm not real pleased with. Other than that, I feel good. I would say the third and fourth is whenever I started throwing the ball a little better. The first couple of innings I wasn't as comfortable as I've been in my previous ones."

deGrom came up with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth and struck out looking. He said he was disappointed in not getting a hit.

"I wanted to get a hit bad. I wasn't able to do that," he said, grinning.

Bill Whitehead is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.