JUPITER, Fla. -- In the final stretch of Spring Training, the Marlins and Mets each threw their Opening Day starters on Friday. Both teams also got a feel for playing at night, performing in front of a crowd of 4,758 at Roger Dean Stadium.
The tightly pitched game was decided by two-out singles, the biggest one a Josh Rodriguez two-run hit in the eighth inning of New York's 4-2 victory. Rodriguez capped a three-run eighth after clutch hits by Rob Brantly and Nick Green had given Miami a 2-1 lead.
Ricky Nolasco got the nod for Miami, and New York went with Jonathan Niese. Both were able to stretch out to at least five innings.
Niese exited after five innings, allowing two runs with four walks and five strikeouts. The left-hander logged 92 pitches, with 49 strikes.
Nolasco stretched out to 101 pitches, throwing six innings, while giving up one run on four hits with five strikeouts.
In the fourth inning, the Marlins capitalized on three walks and scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead.
Niese got into a jam by walking Giancarlo Stanton to open the inning. The lefty also walked Casey Kotchman and Chris Valaika. Brantly slapped an RBI single to center, and Green's run-scoring single to right put Miami in front.
"It was a bad fourth inning there," Niese said. "I was nibbling with my offspeed pitches and fell behind. I was forced to make a pitch and I missed with a few of them. But besides the three walks in the fourth inning there, I thought overall I was pretty good."
The Mets had gone up by a run four batters into the game. Jordany Valdespin hit a leadoff triple down the right-field line, and with one out, Mike Baxter was hit by a pitch. Andrew Brown's sharp single to center gave New York the early lead.
Up next: With Shaun Marcum still recovering from his cortisone injection earlier this week, prospect Rafael Montero will return to big league camp to start Saturday's 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Nationals on MLB.TV. In two Grapefruit League outings prior to his demotion, Montero gave up two runs over four innings. Marcum is due back in the rotation next week.