Alex Ramirez reaches base twice but Mets fall to Cardinals, 10-5, in Grapefruit League opener

The Mets were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-5, in their Grapefruit League opener on Saturday afternoon at Clover Park.

Here are some takeaways...

- Tylor Megill took the mound for the Mets and he allowed the first two batters he faced to reach on a single and hit by pitch. He was able to settle down after that, and used a pair of strikeouts -- one of which was with his new forkball, to get him out of the inning with just one run scored.

The right-hander came back out for the second and finished his afternoon with a much better inning, as he rolled a 6-4-3 double play and picked up another strikeout en route to a perfect frame. Megill threw 39 pitches and sat around 94-96 MPH on the radar gun while allowing just the one run on two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts in his first outing of the spring.

- Brett Baty received the first opportunity at the hot corner, and he went 1-for-2 with an infield single, but more importantly he impressed with the leather. The 24-year-old made a pair of smooth plays in the fourth, the second of which was a diving stop in the hole to get the second out of the inning.

- Being that it was the first spring game, New York's young talent entered the game around the halfway point. Top outfield prospect Alex Ramirez, who was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, made his mark with a pair of singles and a stolen base. Luisangel Acuna took over for Francisco Lindor, who went 1-for-2 across three innings, and the 21-year-old looked showed off his rifle arm and looked smooth at shortstop.

Drew Gilbert played the final four innings in center field and he helped start a nice relay to gun a runner down at third base. Catcher Hayden Senger went 2-for-2, including the Mets' first home run of the spring, and utility man Carlos Cortes finished 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a run scored.  

- Aside from Megill, not much went right for the Mets on the pitching side of things, but Nate Lavender got off to strong start in his quest to crack the big-league team by striking out the side in the eighth. The lefty reliever posted a 2.98 ERA and 86 punch outs across 54.1 innings of work last season with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse.


Upcoming schedule

The Mets return to action on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. when they take on the Astros at Clover Park.

Jose Butto is expected to take the ball for New York as he looks to build off his strong finish to last season against Houston's RHP Brandon Bielak.