TAMPA, Fla. - Miguel Yajure and the Tampa bullpen held the Mets (2-3) to two runs, but St. Lucie pitching faced just three batters over the minimum as the Tarpons (2-3) suffered their first shutout loss of the season, 2-0, on Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Blake Tiberi began the game by blasting a ball off the top of the right field wall. Right-fielder Matt Pita fired into second, but Tiberi slid under the tag of shortstop Welfrin Mateo for a double.
One out later, rehabber Todd Frazier drew a walk, but was forced out at second as Jeremy Vasquez reached on a fielder's choice. Vasquez then took off for second and remained in a "pickle" long enough for Tiberi to score before getting tagged out to end the inning.
A walk, single and a hit-batter loaded the bases for St. Lucie in the third. A run then scored as Frazier legged out an infield single, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Vasquez then grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play to end the inning.
Yajure (L, 0-1) allowed two runs on four hits, two walks and one hit-batter in three innings. The right-hander struck out one and threw 39 of 61 pitches for strikes.
Rain started pouring down and the bottom of the third was delayed by 34 minutes.
Following the delay, St. Lucie starter Luc Rennie got two quick outs before Pita drilled a double into the left field corner. Pablo Olivares followed with a walk, but Rennie got a groundout by Diego Castillo to end the threat.
Rennie (W, 1-0) dealt a perfect fourth inning before getting a strikeout/caught-stealing double-play to face the minimum in the fifth. The righty scattered three hits and one walk in five scoreless innings, tallying four strikeouts and throwing 50 of 74 pitches for strikes.
RHP Bryan Blanton made his Tarpons debut in the fourth and collected a pair of strikeouts while holding the Mets to one hit and one walk in a career-high three scoreless innings. RHP Brooks Kriske followed with three more scoreless frames, working around a hit and a walk while striking out four.
RHP Carlos Hernandez (H, 1) and RHP Ryley Gilliam (SV, 1) combined for one hit-batter and five strikeouts while completing the final four hitless innings of the shutout.
The game featured four double-plays, four caught-stealings and one pickoff.
Chris Hess (1-for-3, CS) has reached base safely in four-straight games. Pita (1-for-2, 2B, HBP) has hit safely in three-straight games.
RHP Rony Garcia (0-0, 5.40) will square off against RHP Kevin Smith (0-1, 1.93) when the series continues on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
On "2-for-1 Tuesday," fans can get buy-one, get-one free deals on lower reserved tickets, hot dogs, burgers, fries and nachos from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (2-for-1 tickets may only be purchased from the George M. Steinbrenner Field Box Office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.