Flores hits 3-run homer, Niese solid in 2nd start as Mets rout Braves' split squad 13-2



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PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida — Wilmer Flores was had three hits, including a three-run homer, and the New York Mets routed an Atlanta Braves' split squad 13-2 Friday.

Flores doubled, scored three runs and raised his average to .455.

"Since I've got here, I've been feeling great," Flores said. "I've been swinging at good pitches, swinging at strikes and that's what I'm trying to do."

Mets starter Jon Niese allowed three hits in 3 2-3 scoreless innings, struck out three and walked one. He was staked to an 11-run lead by the time he came out for the fourth inning.

"We had this talk in a meeting this morning about pitching with a big lead and keeping your focus and not just throwing the ball over the plate," Niese said. "The game plan was not to throw any cutters, and I only threw two, so it was good to see I got through the innings with just the three pitches I had."

Braves prospect Manny Banuelos gave up five runs, three hits, two walks and two wild pitches in two-third of an inning.

Curtis Granderson had two hits and scored two runs for the Mets. David Wright had a RBI single and scored two runs, and Travis d'Arnaud added a two-run double.

Phil Gosselin had two hits and a RBI for the Braves.

STARTING TIME

Banuelos, rated as the Braves' 13th best prospect by Baseball America, had what he called "a really bad outing."

"I don't want to do that, but I didn't have good command with any of my pitches," he said. "My arm feels good, but I'm not consistent with my pitches. I just need to keep pitching. It was all my pitches. I didn't feel any command with my fastball, changeup or curve. It wasn't there. It will come."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: Left-handed reliever Josh Edgin (stretched elbow tendon) said he will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews. Edgin is deciding between trying to a conservative rehab approach or season-ending, elbow ligament-replacement surgery. ... Reliever Vic Black had a precautionary MRI on his right shoulder.

Braves: Left fielder Eury Perez fouled off a ball in the second inning that hit the ground near his feet, bounced back up and hit him in the right cheek. Perez was examined by a team trainer, but remained in the game.

SHORT HOPS

Granderson scored from third base on a wild pitch in the first. Mets batter David Wright signaled with his hand for Granderson to stay at third, but Granderson ignored the sign and scored easily. ... Braves right fielder Joe Benson threw out Kirk Nieuwenhuis at home in the sixth. Nieuwenhuis attempted to tag up on a short fly ball by Brandon Allen. ... The Mets made three roster moves after the game, sending Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini and Xorge Carrillo to minor league camp. ... The scoreboard at Tradition Field was showing pitch speeds for the first time since the home opener on March 6. It initially was turned off, and ultimately replaced, after a Matt Harvey pitch was clocked at 104 mph. ... New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at the game.

UP NEXT

The Mets host a Washington Nationals split squad Saturday. Tyler Pill is to start for the Mets against Tanner Roark.

The Braves host the Houston Astros on Saturday. Non-roster invitee Wandy Rodriguez is to start for the Braves.

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