New York Mets: Craig Fritsch

Tigers 7, Mets 6: Gee sharp

March, 14, 2012
Dillon Gee mostly breezed through four innings, with the exception of surrendering a two-run homer to Prince Fielder in the right-hander’s final frame, but a skeleton Mets squad lost to the Detroit Tigers, 7-6, in 10 innings on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

Rutgers product Jack Egbert, borrowed from minor league camp, allowed a walk-off RBI single to Quintin Berry.

Gee allowed two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five in four innings.

“I thought today was a really positive day for me,” Gee said. “The past couple of outings I haven’t really felt that great. Me and Dan [Warthen] did a lot of work this week and really got me feeling good. … We made it a point to throw more curveballs today. The other day against the Braves I think I only threw one curveball, maybe two at the most. Today I threw maybe almost 10 curveballs. Because the fastball command has been getting better, it was time to start the next step to really start getting the off-speed stuff going.”

“More curveballs, better changeup, more command,” Terry Collins said.

As for the location of the 0-2 pitch that Fielder pummeled, Gee said: “Not far enough in for that guy, I guess. He’s so strong.”

Chuck James, primarily vying with Garrett Olson and Josh Edgin for the left specialist role in the bullpen in Tim Byrdak’s absence, walked three in a four-run fifth inning as the Tigers took a 6-4 lead. Still, Collins partly excused the control issue, noting James’ last outing was scrubbed because of rain, meaning he had not worked in a game in five days.

“One of the things we want to see is command of his pitches,” Collins said. “It’s been a while since he’s been out there. … We’ll run him out there again in a few days.”

• All four runs with James on the mound were unearned. That’s because third baseman Wilmer Flores committed two errors on a two-out grounder by Brandon Inge. Flores booted the ball, then threw late and wide to first baseman Zach Lutz, allowing a run to score and Inge to advance to second. James only allowed two hits in the messy inning, with one being an infield single by Fielder.

Flores, who has split time evenly between second and third base in winter ball in Venezuela the past few years, exclusively had played shortstop in the Mets organization since signing at 16 years old. He now is transitioning to primarily third-base duty, but also should see time at second base and shortstop. He also committed two errors in an inning at third base Monday against the Tigers.

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Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187