Miami Marlins starter Jose Urena will look to bounce back from a painful Opening Day start when he opposes the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Urena, who started on Opening Day for the second straight season, gave up four earned runs in his 4 2/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies. All four came after the right-hander was hit on the left leg by David Dahl's line drive in the second inning, which caused some tightness and swelling.
By the next day Urena (0-1, 9.64) was on the mend.
"It's pretty good. It feels better," Urena told the Miami Herald. "I just did kind of a complete workout like I do my routine all the time after I pitch, so everything was fine. It was a little swelling."
The Mets will send No. 5 starter Jason Vargas to the mound. Vargas struggled through the first half of last season, going 2-8 with an 8.75 ERA. He rebounded to finish 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA. That and a strong spring have the left-hander in the rotation, at least for now.
The New York Post reported Sunday that the Mets have been in contact with Scott Boras, the agent for Dallas Keuchel, to gauge interest.
The 36-year-old Vargas is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Marlins.
Urena, 27, is 5-5 with a 3.38 ERA against the Mets in 14 games, 10 of them starts.
The Mets (3-1) used a four-run ninth inning to take the series opener 7-3 on Monday. Ahmed Rosario singled home a run off Drew Steckenrider and rookie Pete Alonso followed with a three-run homer, his first in the Majors.
"It was awesome," Alonso told reporters. "I kind of had a rough go the first four AB's and to step up like that and help my team, that was really fun. That was really cool."
Through four games, Alonso is 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles, a homer and six RBI. Prior to the homer, he had been hitless in four at-bats on the night.
New York closer Edwin Diaz loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth before striking out three straight batters.
Juan Lagares homered for New York to tie the game 3-3 in the seventh.
"We have to come out this series and play like they are the Nationals," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters before the game. "We can't let up. These are the games, these are the series that mean just as much. You look up at the end of the year and you need to have taken care of business, whether it's the Nationals or the Marlins."
Starlin Castro (three RBI) gave the Marlins (2-3) the early lead with a two-run homer in the first inning.
Miami's Caleb Smith made his first start since shoulder surgery ended his rookie season last June. The 27-year-old left-hander allowed two runs while striking out eight in five innings of a no-decision.
"I thought Smitty was OK. Honestly, he didn't seem sharp to me," manager Don Mattingly told the Herald. "I think fastball command was not great tonight. But he hung in there. It's not as clean as we've seen him in some outings in spring."
--Field Level Media
Marlins hoping Urena can get by rough start against Mets