Sean Manaea tosses five strong innings, Brett Baty homers as Mets beat Cardinals 3-1

The Mets got another strong five-inning outing from left-hander Sean Manaea, a home run from Brett Baty, and Jeff McNeil made his first spring training start, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 on Tuesday night in Port St. Lucie.

Here are the takeaways...

- Manaea needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side in the top of the first, getting Masyn Winn fishing on a slider down and in before finishing Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson with some out-of-the-zone high heat (96 mph and 94 mph).

Ivan Herrera started the second inning by lining a triple into the gap in right-center field and scored on a one-out single past a drawn-in infield for the only run off Manaea. The left-hander did well mixing up his offspeed pitches with his fastball to keep St. Louis batters off balance.

Manaea, who averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine over his last three seasons, was mowing down Cardinals batters, notching six on the night. The 32-year-old allowed a few hard-hit balls (including two 105.2 mph and 107.6 mph off the bat), but he cruised through five innings of work allowing one run on four hits with a walk on 69 pitches (42 strikes).

Through three spring starts, Manaea has allowed four earned runs on 13 hits over 11.2 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts.

- McNeil, in his Grapefruit League debut, made up for lost time by fouling away six pitches and walking on the 11th pitch he saw from St. Louis starter Lance Lynn in the first. He would just miss a grand slam, driving a 2-0 fastball 354 feet to the wall in right to end the second inning.

“It felt like I got it, but I’ve played in St. Lucie for long enough to know when the winds blowing in you gotta add two or three clubs and drive it through the wind,” he said, making a golf reference. “I hit it really well and I would say a normal day [it would have carried].”

The left-handed hitting second baseman faced lefty John King in the fifth and battled before popping out on the eighth pitch he saw. He finished the night, playing five innings in the field, 0-for-2 with a walk.

- Baty launched his second homer of the spring, taking a 90 mph cutter 363 feet to right field (105.3 mph off the bat) with one out in the second. He finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

- Pete Alonso fouled away four pitches before rocketing a single up the middle in his first at-bat with two down in the first inning. Like McNeil, Alonso just missed a homer to the opposite field when his drive (100.1 mph off the bat, 365 feet) was caught just before the wall. He finished the day 1-for-3 with an RBI walk.

- Francisco Alverez gunned down a wood-be base stealer in the third with an 85.8 mph strike to second. It was the eighth base runner the catcher has caught this spring. Alvarez smacked a two-out double down the line in right for an RBI double in the seventh. He finished the day 1-for-3 at the plate with a strikeout and a walk.

- Mark Vientos, battling to land the DH role, had a single for his lone hit in four at-bats with two strikeouts.

- Starling Marte, who entered the night 4-for-28 on the spring, went hitless in three at-bats with a walk.

- Harrison Bader, batting out of the No. 9 hole, lofted a single to left with two out in the third before stealing second base. He finished 1-for-4.

- Jorge Lopez was first out of the bullpen for the Mets bullpen and struck out a pair in a scoreless inning while allowing a double. Lefty Jake Diekman added a one-two-three frame with a strikeout. Righty Yohan Ramirez struck out two with a walk in two scoreless to close the game out.

- Jen Pawol was the home plate umpire on Tuesday night. The Triple-A ump hopes to be the first-ever woman to umpire an MLB regular season game.


What's Next

The Mets head to Jupiter, Fla. to take on the Miami Marlins on Thursday for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

Right-hander Christian Scott will get the start and closer Edwin Diaz will pitch an inning, manager Carlos Mendoza said. Miami is handing the ball to left-hander Patrick Monteverde.