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Mets takeaways from Saturday's 4-2 spring training win over Nationals, including strong at-bats by Jeff McNeil, Mark Canha

Mark Canha slides in safe Pete Alonso celebrates

The Mets beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Saturday afternoon, as Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha had strong days at the plate and Taijuan Walker had a smooth spring debut.

Six things to know from Saturday’s game

1. Walker made his first start of the spring and breezed through the first with a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 inning. Walker sent down the first two Nationals in the second inning, but then let up a single to Lane Thomas. Walker got out of the second by forcing Maikel Franco to pop out to Pete Alonso at first base.

Walker’s day ended after 2.0 IP, allowing just one hit on 20 pitches with 11 strikes.

2. David Peterson came in to pitch the third inning, and got back-to-back groundouts to start things off. He then walked Alcides Escobar, but struck out superstar Juan Soto to get out of the inning. Peterson had a similar start to the fourth inning, retiring the first two batters. He then let up a single to Keibert Ruiz, and a two-run homer to Lane Thomas as the Nats took a 2-0 lead.

3. McNeil got things going for the Mets’ bats in the bottom of the fourth inning with a leadoff triple. After Alonso lined out to short, Robinson Cano drove McNeil in with a groundout to second, making it a 2-1 game. Eduardo Escobar then walked and moved to third on Dom Smith‘s ground-rule double, but Luis Guillorme grounded out to end the scoring chance.

4. Hayden Senger was hit by a pitch from Steve Cishek to leadoff the fifth, and scored on Canha’s double to right field to tie the game up at two. McNeil got his second hit of the day with a line drive to left, scoring Canha, and giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.

5. Peterson got Soto and Nelson Cruz to fly out to start the sixth, and was then replaced by Stephen Nogosek, who struck out Josh Bell to retire the side. Peterson’s day ended after 65 pitches over 3.2 IP, allowing two earned runs on two hits with five strikeouts. In the bottom half of the inning, Escobar led off with a solo home run to center, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.

6. Sean Reid-Foley closed things out in the ninth, letting up just one hit. Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-4 in the win, Canha finished the day 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and McNeil went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored as well. Escobar was 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk and his solo homer.


What’s next

The Mets host the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Clover Park in Port St Lucie, Fla. The game is set for a 1:10 p.m. as both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are scheduled to pitch.