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Mejia and Takahashi take call to arms

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Two of the more intriguing arms in camp - the right one of Jenrry Mejia and the left one of Hisanori Takahashi - were on display in the Mets' 9-1 victory over the Tigers Saturday. Each pitcher again made his case that he should be on the Opening Day roster.

Takahashi, who could be a sleeper in the fifth-starter competition, threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. That makes it nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings for Takahashi, though he humbly pointed out that pitchers are ahead of hitters at this point in camp.

"His change of speeds has been phenomenal," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "His instincts as a pitcher reading a batter have been great so far."

Mejia gave up a run and three hits in two innings, but Jerry Manuel said two of the hits were off changeups, which the 20-year-old was instructed to use. Mejia struck out three.

"He has to continue to throw strikes," Manuel said. "If he does that, we will be hard- pressed not to really, really consider him."

Trainer's room

If Kelvim Escobar feels more pain in his right shoulder when he resumes throwing in seven to 10 days, he said he would like to have a MRI. For the moment, Escobar hopes it will not get to that point and says he no longer feels pain. He has been limited to exercises designed to build his shoulder strength.

"My first two weeks here were tough because I was frustrated," he said. "I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do. Coming to a new team, you don't want to be in this situation. I feel embarrassed. I'm a professional."

He hopes to be ready by the end of April.

Homer-happy

David Wright, coming off a regular season in which he hit 10 home runs in 535 at-bats, has three homers in 18 at-bats. He hit an opposite-field solo homer Saturday, one of four home runs by the Mets. Jason Bay added a three-run shot - his first of spring training - and Gary Matthews Jr. and Daniel Murphy hit two-run home runs in the Mets' rout.

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