Mets takeaways from Sunday's loss to Rays, including Carlos Carrasco's shaky start, another Ronny Mauricio home run

Mar 12, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Clover Park.
Mar 12, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Clover Park. / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, 10-4, on Sunday afternoon as their spring training schedule continued.

Here are the takeaways...

- Carlos Carrasco got his third start of spring training and cruised through the first, allowing just a two-out single before getting a line out to end the inning. Carrasco continued to deal in the second, tossing a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.

Carrasco let up a solo home run to Niko Hulsizer on a full-count pitch in the top of the third, giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. Gavin Collins then singled, but catcher Francisco Alvarez showed off his arm and picked off Collins at first base. Carrasco allowed a two-run blast to Kyle Manzardo in the fourth, as the Rays went up 3-0. Carrasco's day ended after four innings of work, as he allowed three runs on four hits with four strikeouts over 52 pitches (35 strikes).

- Brandon Nimmo made his spring debut and got a loud applause from the crowd before he led off the bottom of the first. The center fielder walked and then sprinted to first, but Starling Marte grounded into the 5-4-3 double-play. Nimmo walked again with two outs in the bottom of the third and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Marte struck out to end the scoring chance.

The bright sun caused Nimmo to misplay a fly ball in the fourth, as he was issued an error that allowed Triston Gray to advance to second base. The center fielder blocked out the sun later in the inning to make the second out. Nimmo was replaced in the top of the fifth by Lorenzo Cedrola, ending his day after two at-bats.

- 3B Danny Mendick doubled to leadoff the bottom of the fourth, stole third base with one away and then scored on a wild pitch that got by the catcher to make it a 3-1 game.

- Tommy Hunter came in for relief in the fifth inning and got three quick outs after issuing a leadoff walk. Hunter let up a one-out single in the sixth on a hard hit ball that got by Darin Ruf at first base. The right-hander then struck out Manzardo, hit a batter, and got a pop out to end the side. Drew Smith replaced Hunter in the seventh and let up a solo homer to Hulsizer that gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.

- Ronny Mauricio crushed his fourth homer of spring training on a blast to right field, as the Mets trailed 3-2 in the fifth. Two batters later, Marte got hit square in the helmet on a 93 mph fastball as Omar De Los Santos came in to pinch-run for him. Marte's initial evaluation was negative for a concussion, the team announced. In the bottom of the seventh, De Los Santos drove in a run on a line drive single to make it a one-run game and then Carlos Cortes grounded into a double-play, but the run crossed to tie the game at 4-4.

- Joey Lucchesi struggled in the eighth, as he allowed three runs on three hits, including two doubles, plus a walk and a strikeout. Bryce Montes de Oca replaced Lucchesi in the ninth and got into some trouble after walking the bases loaded. The flamethrower was pulled from the game with one out as athletic trainers came out to check on him. Nolan Clenney came in for relief and let up a two-run double that gave the Rays a 9-4 lead.


What's next

The Mets hit the road and take on the Miami Marlins Monday at 1:10 p.m.