PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Oliver Perez was unconcerned Tuesday after an outing in which he allowed seven runs and three home runs to the Cardinals in 21/3 innings to raise his spring training ERA to 8.66.
Jerry Manuel was quite concerned. "Obviously you'd like to see better going into the season," Manuel said after the Cardinals' 9-4 exhibition win. "He's just a guy we've got to watch carefully. I sense that he's healthy. I don't think there's any issues there. So hopefully when the lights come on he shows us a little better stuff."
Pitching coach Dan Warthen said Perez's fastball was between 86-88 miles per hour. Perez needs to be well above 90 to be effective. "He's supposed to be able to throw it by them," Warthen said.
Perez, who allowed home runs to Ryan Ludwick, Matt Holliday and Brendan Ryan, said: "I'm ready to go . . . I feel good. I'm using all of my pitches. I can throw them anytime. That's very important to me."
Johan Santana allowed 10 hits and seven runs in five innings against the Cardinals' Triple-A team. The Mets were not worried about their ace, even though he had a 6.75 ERA in major league exhibition games.
"Johan's not a concern," Manuel said.
Alex Cora was hit by a pitch in the first inning and left in the third. He has a sore right hip and is day-to-day . . . Daniel Murphy bruised his right knee in a rundown play in the fifth. He is also day-to-day . . . Pat Misch was waived and will be assigned to Triple-A Buffalo if unclaimed . . . Righty Manny Acosta was claimed from the Braves and optioned to Buffalo . . . John Maine will start Thursday, putting him in line for the second game of the season if Mike Pelfrey (blister) can't go then.