Jacob deGrom retires 11 straight as Mets win 5-0

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jacob deGrom was nearly perfect.

In his final prep work for the regular season, deGrom retired the first 11 Texas Rangers batters he faced on Friday night. He then surrendered a double to Prince Fielder, but followed by coaxing a groundout from Adrian Beltre to complete four scoreless innings.

The Mets beat the Rangers, 5-0, in the exhibition game at Globe Life Park.

The players were eager for the night game after spring-training matinees.

"You've got to get ready for what we're going to expect on Monday," manager Terry Collins said.

DeGrom, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, struck out four and walked none in a 46-pitch effort, which included 33 strikes.

"This last one made me really feel like I'm ready for the season," deGrom said.

DeGrom finished spring training with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 25 and walked four in 26 innings. He starts the second game of the regular season, opposite Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday in D.C.

"He just has picked up right where he left off," Collins said. "He hasn't missed a beat. We talk about Matt [Harvey]'s command and what it's been, and this guy has been lights out. He's been in the zone, both sides of the plate, using all of his pitches. I'd say he's ready to go."

Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup the day after getting drilled on the outside of the right knee by a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn. Granderson went 2-for-4, with an infield single and RBI double.

Granderson showed no apparent ill effects from being forced from Thursday’s game. On Friday, he was caught in a brief rundown after straying too far off first base and drawing a throw from catcher Robinson Chirinos in the third inning.

"I've been hit there. It hurts, and it gets stiff real fast," Collins said. "But it goes away real quick too. He wanted to play. All of those guys wanted to get four at-bats tonight."

Facing former Mets farmhand Logan Verrett, the Mets got on the scoreboard in the first inning on a leadoff double by Juan Lagares and a run-scoring double by David Wright two batters later. Verrett, who allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings, pitched last season for Triple-A Las Vegas. He was a Rule 5 pick by the Baltimore Orioles in December, and was claimed off waivers this week by Texas after Baltimore initiated the process of returning him to the Mets.

The Mets added an unearned run in the fourth on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Adrian Beltre, which allowed Johnny Monell to score from second base. Granderson’s RBI double in the seventh gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Rafael Montero, who appears ticketed for relief work to begin the season, took over for deGrom in the fifth. He allowed a pair of walks, but ultimately produced two scoreless, no-hit innings.

Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia, both shaky throughout spring training, stranded baserunners while recording scoreless frames. Collins said their track records will trump their March performances.

"I certainly don't have a crystal ball to tell you what's going to happen," Collins said. "But when you're trying to decide who should pitch when, you've got to go with 162, not over 15 exhibition games, or 10 games that they got into in spring training. They've done it under big situations. They're the guys who are going to have to do it again."

What’s next: The Mets play their final exhibition game Saturday at 2:05 p.m. ET. Dillon Gee, a product of the University of Texas-Arlington, opposes Rangers left-hander Ross Detwiler. Jonathon Niese once was listed to pitch in that game too, but pitching coach Dan Warthen said Niese preferred not to pitch in relief. Instead, he will throw two bullpen sessions leading into Friday's regular-season start in Atlanta.