Cespedes gets 1st hit of spring, Mets beat Braves 7-5
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI infield single and reached base three times to help the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 7-5 on Sunday.
Cespedes went 1 for 2 with a walk and reached on an error. It was the first hit of the spring for Cespedes, who re-signed with the Mets in the offseason for $75 million over three years. He can terminate the deal after one season.
Alejandro De Aza was 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and a run. New second baseman Neil Walker also doubled for the Mets.
Emilio Bonifacio went 3 for 4 with a double and scored a run, and Ender Inciarte was 2 for 3 with a stolen base for the Braves.
Mets starter Sean Gilmartin pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out two.
''I think I threw right around 50 pitches, which is right where I need to be for three innings,'' said Gilmartin, a long reliever last season. ''I'm definitely happy with it. I could have thrown more first-pitch strikes, but it's something that's going to get better and better as the spring goes on.''
Braves starter Kyle Kendrick gave up five hits and three runs in two innings. He walked one and struck out one.
Braves: Kendrick needed 29 pitches to get through the first inning and said he needs to improve his command.
''It was my first outing,'' he said. ''My command could be better. I'll work on that and get better for the next outing. At this point you want to feel good and get stretched out.''
Mets: Gilmartin, vying for a long relief/spot starter role, said he's fine with however the Mets want to use him.
''I don't really see a huge difference in terms of it's a long man or a starter, or if it's one inning or two innings,'' Gilmartin said. ''Whatever challenges they want to throw at me, I'm ready for them.''
Mets manager Terry Collins said he hopes right fielder Curtis Granderson (eye) will be able to play Wednesday against the New York Yankees.
Collins said captain David Wright is not scheduled to play in a game this week. Wright, who was diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year, took a month off to rest his back after the season and the team does not want to rush him. Collins said he would like Wright to play in 10-12 Grapefruit League games and possibly some minor league games.
The Braves' buses got stuck in rush-hour traffic in Clearwater on Friday after a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, so manager Fredi Gonzalez was happy to see clear roads Sunday morning on ''the scenic turnpike.''
''It was a nice Sunday morning drive on the turnpike. It really was,'' Gonzalez said with a smile.
The Mets observed a moment of silence for Shannon Forde, the team's senior director of media relations who died Friday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 44. The Mets also lowered the 2015 National League Championship flag in right field to half-staff.
Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hit a foul ball into the press box behind home plate. The ball narrowly missed two reporters before thudding against the back wall of the press box, which does not have windows.
Braves: RHP Aaron Blair starts Monday at Toronto.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon starts against the Detroit Tigers and RHP Mike Pelfrey, a former Met, in a split-squad game in Port St. Lucie. LHP Steven Matz takes on St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in Jupiter in the other Mets game.