Detroit at New York

N.Y. Mets
W: G. Germen (1-0) L: B. Rondon (0-1)
HR: DET - A. Garcia (1)   NYM - None

Mets 6, Tigers 2


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - As Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander walked off the mound at the end of the first inning, he had a few words for a frustrated David Wright.

"I just told him to swing the bat," Verlander said after throwing a called third strike to fan the New York Mets star on three pitches, "I was just joking around with him. We grew up playing against each other. If you're going to have fun with somebody, now is the time. Obviously, I wouldn't do that during the regular season, but you can have a little bit more fun in spring training."

Verlander toyed with Mets hitters Friday, throwing three perfect innings in the Tigers' 6-2 loss.

The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner struck out three and needed just 35 pitches for nine outs,

"If they would have let him keep going, this game would have been over in an hour-and-a-half," said Wright, who had an RBI single in the fifth. "He's in midseason form. He's out there working on some stuff and really hitting his spots."

With nearly a month left in spring training, Verlander said his fastball location may be ahead of pace. He had no trouble with his velocity, consistently reaching the low- to mid-90s as he threw to catcher Brayan Pena.

"It felt like it was coming out free and easy, again, for this time of year," Verlander said. "The first changeup I threw was kind of hard, but then I made the adjustment. I talked to Pena a little bit, made the adjustment and slowed that down and then a couple hanging breaking balls. But the breaking ball is usually the last thing to come around for me."

Mets starter Jonathon Niese also threw three scoreless innings in his major league exhibition debut. He had thrown two innings against the University of Michigan earlier this week.

Niese gave up three hits, struck out three and picked off a baserunner.

"I felt good," Niese said. "I think, for the most part, all of my pitches felt good."

Wright, playing in his final game before joining the U.S. for the World Baseball Classic, was 1 for 3 with a go-ahead RBI grounder.

"I feel ready," Wright said. "I feel as ready as a I can be after a week or so of games. I'm excited."

New York's Justin Turner had a two-run single in the sixth. Marlon Byrd had two hits and an RBI.

Prince Fielder had two hits for the Tigers, and Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Gonzalez German.

NOTES: Mets LHP Tim Byrdak arrived in camp Friday and will continue his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his shoulder. Byrdak hopes to be throwing off a mound by the end of spring training. ... Mets OF Lucas Duda saw a doctor for an undisclosed medical condition Friday and declared himself ready to play. Manager Terry Collins wasn't sure whether Duda will see action Saturday. ... Prior to the Friday's game, the Mets held a moment of silence for Sgt. Gary Morales, a St. Lucie County Sherriff's sergeant who was killed in the line of duty Thursday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

A. Garcia
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
New York

J. Turner
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Detroit Tigers
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    Hernan Perez, 2B1000000 .333
Andy Dirks, LF3010020 .167
    Nick Castellanos, LF0000100 .667
Victor Martinez, DH2000010 .333
   a- Tyler Collins, PH-DH2000011 .400
Prince Fielder, 1B3020000 .385
    Matt Tuiasosopo, PR-1B1000003 .000
Brayan Pena, C3000002 .125
    Brad Davis, C1000000 .000
Kevin Russo, CF4120020 .500
Avisail Garcia, RF4122001 .250
Don Kelly, 3B4000001 .250
Argenis Diaz, SS3020010 .400
    Eugenio Suarez, SS1000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Martinez in the 5th
2B - Kevin Russo (2, Germen)
HR - Avisail Garcia (1, Germen)
RBI - Avisail Garcia 2 (2)
CS - Jeff Kobernus (1, 2nd base by Niese/Buck)
Team LOB - 8
E - Jeff Kobernus (1, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander 3000030 1.80
Luke Putkonen 1321010 2.25
Bruce Rondon (L,0-1) 1211110 3.38
Duane Below 1222000 21.00
Brayan Villarreal 1211100 3.00
Al Alburquerque 1100010 3.00
HBP - Nieuwenhuis (by Duane Below)
WP - Bruce Rondon (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 15-15, Luke Putkonen 11-10, Bruce Rondon 12-8, Duane Below 5-4, Brayan Villarreal 9-5, Al Alburquerque 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 3-3, Luke Putkonen 3-0, Bruce Rondon 1-1, Duane Below 1-1, Brayan Villarreal 2-1, Al Alburquerque 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 9, Luke Putkonen 7, Bruce Rondon 6, Duane Below 5, Brayan Villarreal 6, Al Alburquerque 4
New York Mets
Jordany Valdespin, DH3110011 .429
   a- Collin Cowgill, PH-DH2110011 .538
Ruben Tejada, SS1000100 .286
    Brandon Hicks, SS1000001 .000
David Wright, 3B3111010 .333
    Brian Bixler, 3B1011000 .300
Ike Davis, 1B3010002 .200
    Zach Lutz, 1B0000100 .222
Marlon Byrd, RF3121000 .455
    Andrew Brown, RF1000000 .091
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, LF3100003 .063
John Buck, C3000022 .125
    Anthony Recker, C1010000 .667
Justin Turner, 2B3122000 .364
    Wilmer Flores, PR-2B1000001 .000
Matt den Dekker, CF4000012 .167
a-doubled for Valdespin in the 7th
2B - Collin Cowgill (3, Villarreal), Marlon Byrd (2, Below), Anthony Recker (1, Alburquerque)
SH - Ruben Tejada (1)
RBI - David Wright (1), Brian Bixler (2), Marlon Byrd (1), Justin Turner 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright (1)
SB - Jordany Valdespin (1, 2nd base off Putkonen/B. Pena), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (1, 2nd base off Putkonen/B. Pena), Justin Turner (1, 2nd base off Rondon/B. Pena)
CS - Wilmer Flores (1, 2nd base by Below/Davis)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Turner-Tejada-Davis, Tejada-Davis, Tejada-Turner-Davis
New York Mets
Jonathon Niese 3300030 0.00
Jeurys Familia 1100020 6.00
Gonzalez Germen (BS,1; W,1-0) 1522001 13.50
Aaron Laffey (H,1) 1.2300120 0.00
Scott Atchison (H,2) 1.1000010 0.00
Bobby Parnell 1000000 0.00
WP - Aaron Laffey (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 16-16, Jeurys Familia 8-8, Gonzalez Germen 8-7, Aaron Laffey 16-12, Scott Atchison 6-6, Bobby Parnell 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 4-0, Jeurys Familia 1-0, Gonzalez Germen 1-1, Aaron Laffey 1-2, Scott Atchison 2-1, Bobby Parnell 3-0
Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 10, Jeurys Familia 4, Gonzalez Germen 7, Aaron Laffey 9, Scott Atchison 4, Bobby Parnell 3
Game Information
Attendance - 4867
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - Chris Conroy