Wandy makes pitch for rotation spot

Gomes, Pierzynski drive in early runs in Braves' Spring Training opener

Wandy makes pitch for rotation spot

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis keyed the Mets' offensive attack with a four-hit performance that included a first-inning RBI single off Wandy Rodriguez in Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Braves. Nieuwenhuis added another single that put him in position to score when Eric Campbell delivered what proved to be a decisive two-run double off Matt Capps in the fifth inning.

Though Rodriguez and Capps were far from sharp during their one-inning stints, Jose Veras proved far less effective as he surrendered five earned runs while recording just two outs in the sixth. Veras issued a pair of walks before surrendering a three-run home run to Johnny Monell.

Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee issued consecutive walks to begin his afternoon and allowed the Braves to strike for two first-inning runs. But after allowing the hosts to get on the scoreboard with Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly and A.J. Pierzynski's two-out, opposite-field single, completed a perfect second inning with three fly-ball outs.

Rodriguez, who is battling to serve as Atlanta's fifth starter, threw 30 pitches (16 strikes) during his one-inning appearance. The veteran left-hander encountered some misfortune when Wilmer Flores' soft chopper died in the infield grass for an infield single. But there was not anything cheap about the line-drive single Nieuwenhuis drilled into the left-center-field gap to give the Mets a 1-0 first-inning lead.

Braves Up Next: Julio Teheran, who is lined up to make his second straight Opening Day start, will make his Grapefruit League debut when the Braves play the Tigers in Lakeland on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Christian Bethancourt will be behind the plate to handle the two-inning stints scheduled for Teheran and fifth-starter candidate Eric Stults. The game can be heard on Gameday Audio.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.