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Mets takeaways from Friday’s game against Astros, including Starling Marte’s explosive return and Justin Verlander’s strong start

Justin Verlander / Reinhold Matay – USA TODAY Sports

The Mets beat the Houston Astros, 7-2, on Friday afternoon as their spring training slate continued.

Here are the takeaways…

Justin Verlander, with his fastball sitting between 94 and 96 mph, carved through the first five Astros batters with ease before allowing a two-out double in the second inning. He worked around that double with a swinging strikeout of David Hensley on a 96 mph fastball.

In the third inning, Verlander allowed a two-out RBI single to Jake Meyers after trying to dance around a leadoff double.

Overall, he gave up one run on three hits while walking none and striking out five in 3.1 innings in what was his second start of the spring. The right-hander threw 48 pitches (32 strikes).

Starling Marte made his first appearance of spring training and came in hot. He roped a double down the left field line his first time up and smoked a no-doubter of a two-run home run to left-center in his second and final at-bat.

Brett Baty walked on a full count in his first plate appearance before striking out looking twice and grounding out to shortstop. Defensively, he was spotless, including a slick sliding play in the sixth inning where he ranged to his left.

Mark Canha got the start at first base and went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Tommy Pham, who entered the game hitting just .105 this spring, cued an RBI double down the first base line in the second inning. He finished 1-for-3.


What’s next

The Mets also play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road at 6:05 pm, then the team travels to face the Washington Nationals on Saturday at 7:05 pm

Kodai Senga gets the start for New York on Saturday.

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