PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Amidst more pomp and circumstance than is usual for this time of year, the Mets came to Tradition Field as National League champions on Friday for their Grapefruit League home opener. A sold-out crowd of 7,003 poured into the stadium, with blue-and-orange-clad The 7 Line Army -- a fixture throughout the summer -- cheering from the right-field berm. Yoenis Cespedes received a standing ovation prior to his first plate appearance. Wilmer Flores came to bat amidst chants of his name.
Then the Mets twice came from behind in the late innings to secure a 4-4 tie against the Marlins, with Dilson Herrera's inside-the-park home run knotting things up in the ninth.
"We took the field, and you hear the [introduction as] National League champions, the crowd roaring, that's pretty neat," Mets starter Logan Verrett said. "It translates into the clubhouse, the atmosphere in here. There's an energy and everybody feels it. The work ethic is just astronomical. Everybody's on board."
One of a few regulars to make the trip up from Jupiter, Fla., outfielder Marcell Ozuna finished 3-for-3 with a double to highlight the Marlins' attack. Starter Justin Nicolino fired two scoreless innings, but the Mets engineered a comeback via consecutive RBI singles from T.J. Rivera and Ty Kelly off Tim Berry in the fifth.
Marlins outfielder Destin Hood opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Verrett in the second inning. The Mets starter was on the hook for a loss until Travis Taijeron tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, tying things at 3. Two innings later, Kenny Wilson singled home a run to give the Marlins a short-lived lead.
"Spring Training's a lot about the process, and not so much the results," Verrett said. "Getting back into the game atmosphere after five months without it, that felt pretty good."
Up next for the Mets: Bullpen addition Antonio Bastardo will make his Mets debut when the team travels north for a 1:05 p.m. ET game Saturday against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., live on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Bastardo, who will fill a setup role this season, will join starter Robert Gsellman and bullpen candidate Josh Smoker on the mound. Former Met Collin McHugh is scheduled to start for the Astros.
Up next for the Marlins: Wei-Yin Chen, the Marlins' biggest offseason acquisition, makes his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET, airing live on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Marco Gonzalez is getting the nod for St. Louis. Chen is expected to be the No. 2 starter behind Jose Fernandez.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.