Mets grand slam leads to 4-4 tie against Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) New York Mets right-hander Dillon Gee got to finish up a few things on the mound and at home before the regular season, and backup catcher Anthony Recker did what he does so often when the games do count.
Recker hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning after Gee threw 84 pitches in his 4 2-3 innings as the Mets pulled out a 4-4 tie against the Texas Rangers on Saturday in the final exhibition game for both teams.
The Mets had two outs with nobody on in the ninth before reliever Andrew Faulkner gave up a single and walked two. Hard-throwing reliever Jesus Pirela came on and surrendered the homer, Recker's first of the spring.
''Well, that's what he does. He's dangerous,'' manager Terry Collins said. ''Look up what he's done the last couple of years, and that's it.''
Recker has 14 career homers, and 10 of them have either tied the game or given the Mets the lead. That includes five of his seven homers last season.
Gee, expected to start New York's fifth game, allowed two runs with four strikeouts. He was pitching about 45 miles from his home in Cleburne, Texas.
''That might be the most I've thrown this spring. Definitely felt like it a little bit at the end. ... For the most part, I felt good,'' he said. ''It was nice to stay at home a couple of nights, in my own bed and take care of some stuff here at the house before you embark on the season.''
Shin-Soo Choo had hits in both of his at-bats and minor league outfielder Nick Williams scored from second base on an infield single for the Rangers. They won only two of their last 20 games and finished 9-19-5 in their first spring under new manager Jeff Banister.
Texas managed only an infield single in the ninth off Zack Thornton before the game was declared a tie.
New York finished the spring 19-12-2.
Chi Chi Gonzalez, one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects and their 2013 first-round pick, struck out eight with one walk in five scoreless innings after starters Ross Detwiler and Nick Martinez each threw their scheduled inning. Gonzalez will start the season at Triple-A Round Rock.
Ryan Rua, who this spring won the job as the Rangers' starting left fielder, led off the fourth by lining a double over the head of minor league center fielder Darrell Ceciliani. Williams replaced Rua as a pinch-runner and scored to make it 1-0 when utility infielder Adam Rosales reached on a single to deep short.
EXTRA BASES: Choo bunted for a hit in the first inning, and added another single in the third, but hit only .205 (9 of 44) this spring. Choo but had operations late last season for a bone spur in his left elbow and torn cartilage in his left ankle. ... None of the expected everyday starters who played Saturday were in past the fourth inning for either team.
Mets: Gee walked two and finished with a 2.73 ERA in his eight appearances this spring.
Rangers: Detwiler, a reliever for Washington last season, allowed a hit with a strikeout in his one inning. The left-hander is scheduled to start Wednesday at Oakland.
Mets: New York will put pitchers Zack Wheeler, Bobby Parnell, Vic Black and Josh Edgin on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. All those moves will be retroactive to March 27. ... 2B Daniel Murphy, who remained in Florida because of a strained right hamstring, was 0 for 5 and played in the field for four innings in a minor league camp game. He will join the team in Washington on Sunday.
Rangers: Banister was sent home before the game with flu-like symptoms. He was expected to meet the team Sunday in Oakland, where the Rangers open the season Monday against the Athletics. The team traveled to the West Coast after Saturday's game.
Mets: New York opens its regular season Monday at Washington.
Rangers: Texas plays its regular-season opener Monday night at Oakland.