Mark Vientos drives in another run, but Jose Quintana struggles in Mets' loss to Astros

The Mets were defeated by the Houston Astros, 13-5, on Saturday afternoon at Clover Park.

Here are some takeaways…

- Jose Quintana took the mound making his final spring outing prior to Thursday’s Opening Day matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field and he struggled early on for the second consecutive start.

After issuing a leadoff walk to Jose Altuve, the lefty got Yordan Alvarez to ground into what appeared to be a routine double play, but SS Joey Wendle booted it and was only able to retire the lead runner. A batter later, Kyle Tucker lined a soft single over Wendle's head followed by an Alex Bregman three-run home run to give Houston an early lead, but he rebounded to strike out Jose Abreu before being pulled.

Quintana returned to the mound as per spring training rules, and he settled in nicely after that, retiring five consecutive batters with four strikeouts. Bregman broke up that stretch with another extra-base hit, but he bounced back again and was able to get Chas McCormick swinging to dance out of danger. After walking the first two batters to open the fourth, Quintana rolled a fielder's choice before his day ultimately came to an end.

This certainly wasn't the type of performance he was hoping for to close out his exhibition outings, as he struck out six but uncharacteristically issued four walks. After allowing five runs (four earned) across just three innings in this one, the veteran finishes the spring with a 6.19 ERA.

- For the second consecutive game since the Mets added veteran DH J.D. Martinez on a one-year deal, Mark Vientos made his mark with an RBI single. The 24-year-old, who crushed a homer on Friday, looks like he's still in line to start the year as the regular DH while Martinez builds up in the minors.

- DJ Stewart has struggled mightily at the plate this spring, but he lined a ground-rule double in the bottom of the sixth, which was followed by a Ji-Man Choi opposite-field RBI single, sparking a rally to get the Mets back in the game. Both veteran lefties remain in the mix for the final bench spot as we draw closer to the beginning of the regular season.

- Right-hander Yoan Ramirez has been making a strong bid for one of the final bullpen spots on the Opening Day roster, but he was roughed up a bit this afternoon, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out three over two inning. 

- Jeff McNeil remains hitless through his first three spring games since returning from a lingering biceps injury after going 0-for-3 in this one.


Upcoming schedule

The Mets have a split-squad doubleheader on Sunday afternoon as they face the Washington Nationals at Clover Park and head to Jupiter to take on the Miami Marlins.

First pitch for both games is at 1:10 p.m.