Recker's slam leads to Mets-Rangers tie in spring finale

Recker's slam leads to Mets-Rangers tie in spring finale

ARLINGTON -- Rangers prospect Chi Chi Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings in relief before Anthony Recker later tied the game with a grand slam in the ninth inning as the Rangers and Mets played to a 4-4 draw on Saturday afternoon.

Dillon Gee, who won a spot in the Mets' rotation as the fifth starter, closed out his Spring Training by allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings. Gee allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four. He finished the spring with a 2.73 ERA.

Gonzalez pitched because the Rangers only wanted Ross Detwiler and Nick Martinez to go one inning each. Both pitched a scoreless frame before Gonzalez came on to pitch the third. Gonzalez, rated the club's No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, will open the season in the Triple-A Round Rock rotation. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out eight Saturday.

Both teams limited the play of their starters. Curtis Granderson was 1-for-2 for the Mets to give him a .442 average for the spring. David Wright was 1-for-2 and finished at .291.

Shin-Soo Choo was 2-for-2 for the Rangers. The first was a bunt single up the third-base line in the first inning to beat the Mets' shift.

Recker's grand slam came off Jesus Pirela, a Minor League free agent signed out of the Mexican League who was brought to Arlington as an extra pitcher for the exhibition game. Three of the runs on Recker's homer were charged to Andrew Faulkner, who recorded the first two outs of the ninth before loading the bases and exiting.

The tie left the Rangers 9-19-5 for the spring, helping them avoid setting a new club record for most spring defeats. The Mets finished 19-12-2.

WHAT'S NEXT
Mets: The Mets travel to Washington and open the season at 4:05 p.m. (ET) Monday, with right-hander Bartolo Colon on the mound against the Nationals. Colon will be make his seventh career Opening Day start. At 41 years and 317 days old, Colon will be the oldest Opening Day starter in club history.

Rangers: Yovani Gallardo will be on the mound for the Rangers at 9:05 p.m. (CT) Monday when they open the season against the Athletics in Oakland. It will be the sixth straight Opening Day start for Gallardo, who was acquired from the Brewers in the offseason.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.