at St. Petersburg
Friday, April 2
Mets at the plate: Left fielder Jason Bay had the team's only two hits of the game through the first eight innings, both singles. Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer off Lance Cormier in the ninth for the Mets' only runs of the ballgame.Rays at the plate: Prior to Friday, Pat Burrell was having a rough spring, but he may have turned the corner. The 33-year-old hit a hard-hit double to the left-center-field gap off Mike Pelfrey in the second to score Evan Longoria with the Rays' first run. Kelly Shoppach produced the second run with an RBI single in the seventh.
Mets on the mound: Pelfrey made his sixth and final start of the exhibition season and looked sharp, especially after he froze Carlos Pena with an offspeed pitch for strike three in the fourth.Rays on the mound: Matt Garza started for Tampa Bay, making his final tune-up before his first start of the regular season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The right-hander looked particularly sharp in the early going, when he struck out -- in order -- Luis Castillo, David Wright and Mike Jacobs before Bay drove a single up the middle. Garza allowed one hit and two walks in five innings while striking out six. Worth noting: Reid Brignac has been known as a slick fielder throughout his tenure in the Rays' organization. On Friday night, Brignac was told he made the team's 25-man roster, then he validated the decision with a diving stop in the fifth to snare Fernando Tatis' scorcher to his left. Tatis' shot would have scored a run, but Brignac quickly got to his feet and threw to Pena at first for the third out of the inning. Up next: The Rays travel to Durham, N.C., on Saturday afternoon to play their Triple-A affiliate, the Bulls, at 3 ET at Durham Athletic Park. Jeff Niemann will start for the Rays in his final tune-up before he makes his first start of the season on Thursday night at Tropicana Field against the Orioles. Top prospect Jeremy Hellickson will start for the Bulls.
Jon Niese will start for the Mets on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Sarasota, Fla., to meet the Orioles in a 1:05 contest at Ed Smith Stadium. Oliver Perez is also slated to pitch, while Brian Matusz is Baltimore's scheduled starter.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.