03/14/09 3:42 PM ET
Nats' six-run ninth shoos away Mets
Martis, 'pen mates pitch well before lineup makes its comeback
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Saturday, March 14
Nationals at the plate: Willie Harris (double) and Wil Nieves (single) produced the Nationals' only hits in four innings against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey. Washington rallied with six runs in the ninth, with catcher Gustavo Molina knocking in the go-ahead run, Freddie Bynum delivering an RBI triple and Justin Maxwell blasting a two-run homer.
Mets at the plate: Fernando Tatis, starting at first base, had three hits, one was an RBI double in the first inning. Bobby Kielty drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Nationals on the mound: Starter Shairon Martis allowed one run in the first. He allowed four hits and two walks, but no other runs in four innings. Terrell Young allowed one run in his inning. Jason Bergmann and Justin Jones threw one scoreless inning each.
Mets on the mound: Pelfrey, pitching for the first time since March 4, allowed two walks and two hits in four scoreless innings. He threw more changeups than usual, including one to a left-handed hitter. With chances of his being the No. 5 starter improved, Livan Hernandez followed Pelfrey, and after an abridged warmup, pitched two scoreless innings, walking two.
Grapefruit League records: Mets 6-8-1, Nationals 7-6-2.
Up next: The Mets will play the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., on Sunday, beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. John Maine makes his third exhibition-game start, followed by Sean Green and Matt DeSalvo, among others. Chris Volstad starts for the Marlins.
The Nationals will play the Tigers at home in Viera, Fla., on Sunday, with Collin Balester starting opposite phenom Rick Porcello. The game begins at 1:05 p.m.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.