Lagares, Mayberry power up to back sharp Montero

Outfielders go deep as pitching prospect holds Yanks to 1 run over 4 innings

Lagares, Mayberry power up to back sharp Montero

TAMPA, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. homered off Masahiro Tanaka and Juan Lagares cracked a two-run blast off Dellin Betances as the Mets defeated the Yankees, 7-2, on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Lined up to serve as the Yanks' Opening Day starter, Tanaka permitted three runs (two earned) and four hits over 4 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. The right-hander threw 47 of 59 pitches for strikes and said that he has been working on throwing his two-seam fastball more often this season.

Lagares got the Mets off to a quick start in the first by doubling, stealing third and scoring on catcher John Ryan Murphy's throwing error. Mets starter Rafael Montero held the Yanks to one run -- coming on Chase Headley's third-inning RBI double -- and three hits over four innings.

Montero holds Yanks to one run


Lagares launches one: Lagares has hit two homers this spring, and both have come against the Yankees. Unlike his inside-the-park shot on Sunday, which came after center fielder Jose Pirela sustained a concussion by crashing into the fence, Lagares' shot on Wednesday actually cleared the wall in left.

A dip for Dellin: Betances regularly sat above 95 mph as an All-Star setup man last season, so there have been whispers in camp about his lower velocity this spring. Yanks manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have downplayed their concern, but pitching on back-to-back days for the first time this spring, Betances' fastball was clocked at 89 and 90 mph. He has allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Tanaka wriggles free: The Mets had an opportunity to extend their lead after catcher Travis d'Arnaud led off the top of the second with a single to left against Tanaka. The threat fizzled when designated hitter Johnny Monell, who came into the game with three homers and eight RBIs, grounded into a 3-6-3 double play. Tanaka then settled down and retired the next five batters he faced.

Headley's double play

Head-'D': When the Yankees acquired Headley from the Padres last July, Cashman said their internal metrics showed him to be "average" defensively at third base. Headley's final two months in pinstripes suggested otherwise, and he flashed the leather again on Wednesday, spearing a Monell line drive and firing across to first base to double off d'Arnaud, helping Justin Wilson escape the sixth inning.

Mayberry Jr.'s solo homer

Staying hot: Mayberry continued his hot spring with a home run and a single, although his role once the regular season starts remains uncertain. He was originally penciled in as the platoon left fielder against left-handed starters -- Michael Cuddyer was to move to first -- but that changed when manager Terry Collins said recently that Lucas Duda would open the season as the everyday first baseman.


"That might be the best command I've seen him have with all his pitches. All around the plate, his fastball had some life to it. [He] went to the changeup later in the game and threw some very, very good ones. I was very, very impressed." -- Collins on Montero

"It wasn't a very good day for our bullpen today overall. You have those days. If it was the last day of Spring Training, you might worry a little bit more about it, but you're going to have those days. Obviously, we know we have to get these guys right, and they're very important to us." -- Girardi


Left-hander Jon Niese will face the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium on Thursday in a game that pits two teams that will face each other to open the regular season. The 5:05 p.m. ET game will be available on MLB.TV. The Mets will be at Nationals Park for Opening Day on April 6. Bartolo Colon, who will start the opener, will pitch in a Minor League game in Port St. Lucie on Thursday. Right-handers Erik Goeddel and Buddy Carlyle are also scheduled to pitch in Viera.

Adam Warren can put his finishing touches on the race to serve as the Yankees' No. 5 starter on Thursday, as he makes his fifth start of the spring in a visit to the Rays' complex in Port Charlotte, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET, with the game available on MLB.TV. Tampa Bay will hand the ball to Kevin Jepsen, facing a Yankees lineup that will be highlighted by Didi Gregorius, Garrett Jones, Brendan Ryan and Chris Young.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.