PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jacob deGrom's near-perfect outing on Tuesday provided a quick start for the Mets, who could do next to nothing against Brad Hand but rebounded with five eighth-inning runs en route to a 6-4 win over the Marlins at Tradition Field.
A growing consideration for an Opening Day start thanks to his strong spring, Zack Wheeler's right elbow injury and Bartolo Colon's struggles, deGrom gave up a leadoff single to Jordany Valdespin before retiring 14 in a row to end his afternoon. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year struck out six over five scoreless innings, walking one. He has issued just one free pass in three spring starts.
"I'm very pleased," deGrom said. "This week I worked on my delivery a little bit. Last time I got a little herky-jerky in the third inning, maybe trying to overthrow. I worked on just staying smooth this week, and I really felt good out there today."
The Mets took over in the bottom half of the frame, however, thanks in part to Kirk Nieuwenhuis' ground-rule double and Johnny Monell's three-run homer.
Hand set the pace for the Marlins, working around two hits and three walks to contribute four scoreless innings. The Marlins kept many of their regular hitters back in Jupiter, Fla., for a split-squad game against the Cardinals -- a 7-1 loss -- with only Morse, Martin Prado, Marcell Ozuna and Adeiny Hechavarria making the trip.
Up next for the Marlins: Mat Latos will make his second Grapefruit League start on Wednesday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. First pitch for the game -- airing on Gameday Audio -- is set for 1:05 p.m. ET. Miami is no longer using the designated hitter, as pitchers are starting to hit. That means Ichiro Suzuki will be sliding into more of a pinch-hitter role when he isn't starting.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.