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Monday, March 25, 2013
Mets 7, Braves 4: Gee whiz

By Adam Rubin

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After a pair of rough Grapefruit League outings, Dillon Gee righted himself with the regular season rapidly approaching.

Gee tossed six scoreless innings, surrendering two hits and no walks while striking out seven as the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-4, Monday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffmann and Collin Cowgill homered against left-hander Mike Minor as the Mets built a 5-0 lead. Brown and Hoffmann officially had been reassigned to minor league camp late Sunday, but were borrowed along with Brian Bixler for the trip to Disney.

The Mets improved to 13-12-3 in the Grapefruit League.

Game tidbits:

GEE WHIZ: Gee had allowed 11 earned runs on 10 hits and five walks in six innings over his previous two starts. He sliced his Grapefruit League ERA from 8.31 to 5.68.

“In the past I’ve just been too timid in games,” Gee said. “Finally I came out and I said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to be aggressive and hit the mitt and not worry about the outcome -- just let it go.’

“Today I didn’t want to overthink it. It was: be aggressive, throwing everything you have for strikes and just try to simplify things. Don’t worry about, ‘Is he going to hit this?’ Sometimes you just get too much in your head. Just throw the pitch and whatever happens, happens.”

Gee felt like he had turned a corner when he struck out the side in the final inning of his appearance last Wednesday against the Houston Astros.

“I tried not to get too caught up in how I was going,” Gee said. “I mean, it’s spring training. I know what I’m working on. Even though it was pretty bad leading up to this point, I’m still confident in my abilities, and I know the kind of guy that I can be and I should be. I knew it would come along.”

Gee is due to face the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., in Saturday’s Grapefruit League finale, which will set him up for Game 4 of the regular season -- April 5 against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on an extra day of rest. Gee likely will throw no more than 50 pitches in his final spring-training tune-up.

LEFT THE YARD: Robert Carson, the apparent big winner when Pedro Feliciano was told he did not make the club, did not distinguish himself Monday. Carson surrendered homers to the first two batters he faced, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, before Freddie Freeman was retired on a bash to the warning track in center field. Terry Collins pulled Carson at that point and inserted Jeff Walters, who made 36 relief appearances between Class A Savannah and St. Lucie last season.

“I haven’t heard anything. I’m waiting,” Carson said about the roster decision. “Today was a rough day, but it’s cool. I’m just trying to finish strong and just wait and see what the organization chooses to do. I’m ready for it and excited either way.”

Said Collins: "He's still in camp because he's had a pretty good spring training."

SUB-STANDARD: Submariner Greg Burke, seemingly competing with Jeurys Familia for the final bullpen spot, was charged with two runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth to lift his Grapefruit League ERA to 5.84.