Vets lead the way, but Dodgers fall

Vets lead the way, but Dodgers fall

at Vero Beach, Fla.
Sunday, March 2

Mets at the plate: The only Mets player to even touch Dodgers starter Derek Lowe was second baseman Ruben Gotay, whose first-inning double was the latest in a string of successes as he attempts to win a roster spot. A lineup composed exclusively of reserves couldn't muster much more offense until Angel Pagan gave the Mets the lead with his two-run single in the ninth. Pagan finished with three hits.

Dodgers at the plate: On a team of youngsters, veterans led the way on Sunday. Nomar Garciaparra's two hits and three RBIs paced the Dodgers, while Andruw Jones continued his hot first week of spring with an RBI double in the first inning. Three innings into the game, every Dodgers starter other than Jeff Kent had recorded at least one hit.

Mets on the mound: Making his first start of the spring -- and his first since earning a hefty raise through arbitration -- Oliver Perez allowed three runs in the first inning. Scott Schoeneweis also allowed a run and three hits in his inning, while Aaron Heilman pitched a scoreless third. Right-hander Ruddy Lugo appeared the sharpest of all Mets pitchers, striking out the side in the sixth.

Dodgers on the mound: Lowe was efficient in his first two spring innings, allowing one hit -- but nothing else. He was followed by Eric Stults, who also lasted two innings, allowing one run on three hits. Lefty specialist Mike Myers, attempting to make the team as a non-roster invitee, pitched his second scoreless inning of the spring.

Grapefruit League records: Mets 2-3, Dodgers 1-3.

Up next: Chad Billingsley makes his Grapefruit League debut on Monday in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Orioles at Dodgertown. Also scheduled to pitch in the game are non-roster invitee Jason Johnson and lefty reliever Greg Miller.

After his strong spring debut, Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for a second time in a 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Braves in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Monday. Should he continue to succeed and Orlando Hernandez continue to battle injuries, Pelfrey might become the favorite to win the fifth starter's job. Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman will also pitch for the Mets.

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