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.
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.
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."
"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
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
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.
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 MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.