Montero fires zeros, while Duda plates five vs. Fish

Montero fires zeros, while Duda plates five vs. Fish

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Rookie Rafael Montero continued making decisions difficult for the Mets on Monday, delivering six shutout innings, while Lucas Duda drove in five runs in a 7-1 win over the Marlins at Tradition Field. With less than a week left in camp, Montero is making a late push for a rotation spot.

His efforts were enough to silence a Marlins lineup featuring most of Miami's biggest names. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna all finished hitless against Montero and the Mets, who won for the 11th time in 14 games.

Montero fans six Marlins


Deep-sixed: Montero delivered six shutout innings with two hits, no walks and six strikeouts. Though Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier this spring that Dillon Gee would replace Zack Wheeler in the rotation, Montero is making a charge to unseat him. The right-hander has given up one run, five hits and no walks over his last two starts, a span of 10 innings.

Middle innings doom Haren: Miami right-hander Dan Haren retired the first 11 he faced before David Wright's two-out single. Duda followed with a two-run homer. The first blast allowed by Haren came in his 18th Grapefruit League inning, and he gave up another one, to Michael Cuddyer, two innings later.

Cuddyer's two-run shot

Catching fire: Duda's day was far from done. Coming off a three-hit game Sunday in Jupiter, Duda added a three-run double in the sixth inning to his two-run homer. After going his first six Grapefruit League games without an RBI, Duda has 10 of them in his last seven games. "I feel good at the plate," said Duda, who missed the first two weeks of games with a strained left intercostal muscle. "I feel like my timing's getting back."

Duda's bases-clearing double


"Big-picture-wise, offensively, I don't see us swinging the bats much better than we are now." -- Wright on the Mets being ready for the season

"Everything was fine until the last inning. I tired a little bit. I walked a guy [Curtis Granderson] on a close pitch. I struck out Wright. I was a ground ball away from getting out of it. Duda hit it pretty good. A few feet to the right, I'm out of the inning. Instead, I give up a bunch of runs." -- Haren on the Mets' five-run sixth inning


Dee Gordon's double to lead off the fourth inning was his fourth two-base hit of the spring, which is tied for second on the Marlins. Cole Gillespie also has four. The club leader in doubles is Giancarlo Stanton, who has five.

Shortly before Monday's game, the Mets announced that they acquired left-handed reliever Alex Torres from the Padres for Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named. After the game, the club announced it also traded for fellow lefty Jerry Blevins, sending Matt den Dekker to the Nationals. Torres and Blevins should make the Mets' Opening Day bullpen.


After two straight days away from Roger Dean Stadium, the Marlins are back in Jupiter on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. But they still will be the road team because the Cardinals will be the home squad. The pitching matchup will be a pair of Opening Day starters. Henderson Alvarez will make his final Grapefruit League appearance for Miami. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA this spring. Adam Wainwright gets the nod for St. Louis. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is expected to be back behind the plate after a day off Monday.

Don't expect the Mets and Nationals to reveal many secrets on Tuesday, when they face each other for the final time before Opening Day in Washington. Left-handers Jon Niese and Gio Gonzalez will start for the Mets and Nats, respectively, though neither will pitch in next week's opening series. After making his final spring start in Tuesday's 1:05 p.m. ET game in Viera, Fla., Niese will instead start one of the Mets' first two games in Atlanta late next week.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.