Reigning Texas League MVP Matt Adams slugged a pinch-hit grand slam off Mets prospect Jeurys Familia, but it wasn't enough in a game that saw Mets' 2011 first-rounder Brandon Nimmo walk and score as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 8-6, in an exhibition game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday.
Adams, the Cardinals' top first base prospect, hit the first pitch he saw from Familia over the wall in center to put St. Louis ahead, 6-5, in the seventh inning.
New York recovered with three runs in the bottom of the frame when Nimmo, making his Spring debut, pinch hit, walked and came home to score on Pete Kozma's three-base error on a broken-bat bouncer from Aderlin Rodriguez. Valentino Pascucci scored the go-ahead run on the error, setting up a one-out RBI double from Darrell Cecilliani, the Mets' No. 18 prospect.
Nimmo is getting a taste of big league camp but is slated to begin the season in the Minors, most likely at Class A Savannah. The outfielder was the No. 13 overall pick in last year's Draft despite having not played baseball for high school -- Wyoming does not have interscholastic baseball. The Mets' top hitting prospect entering 2012 made his professional debut last season, appearing in 10 games for the Mets' Rookie-level affiliates in Kingsport and the Gulf Coast League, hitting a pair of homers in 38 at-bats.
Familia, who was charged with four runs in 1 2/3 innings, enters the season ranked as the Mets' No. 3 prospect behind fellow right-handers Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey. Familia went 5-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 23 starts last season between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton.
Adams is looking to make a statement after earning Texas League and Arizona Fall League All-Star honors last year after hitting .300 with 32 homers and 101 RBIs in 115 games for Double-A Springfield. He's likely to begin the season at Triple-A Memphis.
Three-time All-Star in the Minor Leagues, Adam Reifer, who missed most of the 2011 season, pitched the eighth for St. Louis, allowing three runs on a pair of hits. Maikel Cleto, the Cardinals' No. 12 prospect, was roughed up for four runs in 1 2/3 innings in relief of starter Jake Westbrook, who went two frames.
Johan Santana started for the Mets and allowed a hit and a walk in two innings as he continues his comeback.