Seth Lugo takes big step in road back to Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE — Seth Lugo surrendered two homers to Yoenis Cespedes during live batting practice Sunday, but from the Mets pitcher’s perspective one should came with an asterisk.

“The first one, that was a good swing, but I wouldn’t pitch him that way in a real game, so I knew what I was getting into before I stepped up there,” Lugo said.

The important part was Lugo had progressed to the point he was allowed to face hitters for the first time this spring. The right-hander sustained a fractured left pinkie toe early in camp that had sidelined him.

Lugo expects his next step will be pitching in an exhibition game.

“I felt really good,” Lugo said. “The ball was coming out well and I threw a lot of strikes, so that is exactly what I was looking for in live BP.”

Lugo mixed in fastballs and curveballs, according to manager Luis Rojas.

“Hopefully we can see him a game soon,” Rojas said.

Seth Lugo
Seth LugoAnthony J Causi

Edwin Diaz rebounded from a rough Grapefruit League debut by pitching a scoreless fourth inning in the Mets’ 3-1 victory over the Nationals. The right-hander allowed a double to Ryan Zimmerman, but retired the next two batters to escape.

“Diaz was great,” Rojas said. “I thought the slider, which is one of the things he’s been working on the most, wants to finish it, wants to make it break the way he wants to instead of backing up a little bit like it did a lot in the past, he got some good finishes on his slider. I think he helped in the inning, commanding it, throwing it for strikes and then the fastball had more ride and run.”

Diaz allowed two earned runs on three hits against the Astros last Wednesday.

Rojas indicated he did not have information about Matt Adams, who was scratched from Thursday’s lineup to undergo cardiac tests.

Michael Conforto celebrated his 27th birthday with a solo homer in the sixth inning of the Mets’ 3-1 exhibition victory over the Nationals in Port St. Lucie. The homer was Conforto’s first this spring.

Stephen Nogosek walked three batters in the eighth inning and was removed with two outs. He was charged for the only run allowed by the Mets.

Justin Wilson struck out the side in the fifth inning. In his two appearances this spring the left-hander has not allowed a baserunner.

The complex is closed and players have the day off. Grapefruit League action resumes Tuesday for the Mets with Noah Syndergaard facing the Marlins in Port St. Lucie.

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