deGrom, Norris effective in spring showdown between NL East rivals

deGrom, Norris effective in spring showdown between NL East rivals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jacob deGrom extended his Spring Training success and Bud Norris bounced back from a pair of rough outings, as the Braves and Mets played to a 3-3 tie in 10 innings at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex on Saturday afternoon.

A.J. Pierzynski opened Atlanta's half of the eighth with a single off Hansel Robles and took second base when Travis Taijeron bobbled the ball in right field. Pierzynski was replaced by pinch-runner Emilio Bonifacio, who advanced to third base on Robles' errant pickoff attempt and scored on Jace Peterson's go-ahead sacrifice fly.

deGrom took another step toward the regular season, as he limited the Braves to two runs and three hits over 6 2/3 innings. The Mets right-hander allowed just four of the 23 hitters he faced to reach safely -- and three of those hitters reached in succession to begin the fourth.

After proving perfect through the first three innings, deGrom encountered trouble when he surrendered a pair of bloop singles and walked Freddie Freeman before recording his first out of the fourth. But the right-hander limited his damage to one run that was tallied when Ender Inciarte scored the game's first run on Adonis Garcia's double-play groundout.

Michael Bourn's pinch-hit triple put him in position to score on Inciarte's sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. This accounted for the only other run allowed by deGrom, who has posted a 1.62 ERA over the 16 2/3 innings he's totaled through four starts.

Bourn leads off 6th with triple

As Norris extended his preparations to fill the second spot in Atlanta's rotation, he limited the Mets to two runs and four hits over six innings. The Braves right-hander had allowed 11 earned runs over the 7 2/3 innings that had been totaled in his two most recent starts, both of which pitted him against the Tigers.

"These last couple [of starts], it's really important to get deeper into the game and really kind of fine tune everything," Norris said. "My breaking ball was much sharper today, and the sinker felt good to both sides of the plate. It was nice pitching deep in the game."

Norris retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, then issued a pair of walks that helped the Mets load the bases before the fifth inning's first out was recorded. deGrom drove in a run with a sharp groundout to first base and Juan Lagares followed with a weak chopper that gave New York a 2-1 lead. Norris fielded Lagares' chopper in front of the mound before making a late lateral toward the plate.

New York evened the game in the ninth, when John Mora scored from third when Johnny Monell grounded into a force play.

Up next for the Mets: Expect David Wright back in the lineup when Steven Matz starts an Easter Sunday matinee for the Mets against Yusmeiro Petit and the Nationals. Matz, who is also scheduled to pitch in Las Vegas next week, will be making his final Grapefruit League start in the 1:05 p.m. ET game on MLB.TV.

Up next for the Braves: Jhoulys Chacin will attempt to solidify his bid for a rotation spot when Atlanta travels to play the Nationals on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. Chacin, who signed a Minor League deal during the offseason, appears positioned to begin the season as the Braves' fourth starter, but the club has not officially revealed whether the right-hander will gain a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.