LAKELAND, Fla. - Mets reliever Bobby Parnell took one more step toward his return to full competition for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

In a minor-league intrasquad game on Saturday in Port St. Lucie, Parnell allowed two hits and threw 20 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Parnell had been scheduled for game action earlier in spring training but was delayed by a strained hamstring suffered during fielding drills.

 

To the left

First baseman Lucas Duda had been scheduled to play in a minor-league game on Sunday, where he could pile on the at-bats as a designated hitter.

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Instead, Duda spotted a chance to do something to get better against lefthanded pitching. He lobbied manager Terry Collins to make the trip to Lakeland to face the Tigers and elite lefthander David Price.

"He came to me and said he wanted to face Price," Collins said after the Mets' 6-4 loss. "He says, 'If I'm going to face lefties, I might as well face the best there is.' I thought that was a great idea. That's why we brought him."

Duda finished 1-for-3 with a single and two strikeouts against Price. Later, he worked a walk. He's hitting .150 in six exhibition games after missing much of camp with a strained intercostal.

 

Extra bases

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