PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Closer Bobby Parnell was supposed to throw a side session Sunday but talked the Mets into his first appearance of spring training.
Parnell, who had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck in September, allowed one unearned run in the Mets' 8-2 victory over the Braves. He gave up a hit, struck out one and had manager Terry Collins beaming afterward.
"Huge step," Collins said. "To see him out there for the first time and really see him let loose. He's been a little tentative in the pen. I understand it. But he threw the ball great. Those last five or six, he let go good."
Said Parnell: "I thought it went well. I felt like I was in the zone, especially there at the end. I think it went really well."
Zeros for Wheeler
Zack Wheeler threw three scoreless innings and wasn't thrilled about it.
"I'd like to forget what I just did out there," he said.
Wheeler allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. He said he threw more off-speed pitches than usual to keep the division rival Braves from seeing his regular repertoire.
Ike Davis' right calf injury is not improving and his return is not imminent. Davis limped around the clubhouse with a tight wrap on his calf.
"Ike's calf is pretty bruised from the strain," Collins said.
Lucas Duda, who is supposed to be battling Davis for the first-base job, is day-to-day with a hamstring strain.
Daniel Murphy sat out because of a sore right leg. He suffered the injury when he attempted a take-out slide at second base Friday.
Collins said he doesn't blame Murphy for going all-out in a spring training game. Murphy, who was held out of the first week of exhibition play to avoid injury, said he has no regrets and could have started a regular-season game.
"That's the only way I know how to play," Murphy said. "If I didn't play that way, I don't think I'd be in this clubhouse. I'd be doing something else for a living."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a devoted Mets fan, watched the game from owner Fred Wilpon's box and later visited with Collins and David Wright in the clubhouse . . . The attendance of 7,687 set a Tradition Field record.
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