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After struggling in first inning, Rick Porcello continues to impress for Mets

Mets pitcher Rick Porcello allowed no runs and

Mets pitcher Rick Porcello allowed no runs and two hits in three innings, striking out four in his start on Thursday. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

JUPITER, Fla. — The Mets wanted Rick Porcello to throw about 50 pitches against the Cardinals on Thursday. They just didn’t want him to throw all of them in one inning.

So when Porcello’s pitch count started to climb into the low 20s in the first inning, manager Luis Rojas got up reliever Harol Gonzalez in the bullpen.

But Porcello retired Yadier Molina on a pop-up to second base with two outs and two runners on with his 24th pitch. The righthander cruised through the next two innings — finishing with 56 pitches — to continue a strong spring training as he bids to solidify the No. 4 spot in the rotation.

Porcello allowed no runs, two hits, walked one and struck out four to lower his ERA to 1.50 in three outings. A first-inning hook would not have been what Porcello or Rojas wanted, even though Porcello could have thrown more pitches in the bullpen after a rest.

“I didn’t even see it,” Porcello said of Gonzalez warming up down the leftfield line. “I was expecting to go at least three innings or 50 pitches — somewhere around there. I don’t know what it was in the first inning. I’m sure it was probably precautionary.”

 Extra bases

Double-A outfielder Johneshwy Fargas hit for the cycle, including the tying home run in the eighth inning, as the Mets and Cardinals played to a 7-7 tie . . . Tyler Bashlor allowed six runs and seven hits, including three home runs, in two-thirds of an inning . . . Former No. 1 pick David Peterson threw two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.50 . . . Non-roster first baseman Matt Adams, who had been away from the team for a week undergoing cardiac testing, returned to camp to continue his longshot bid to make the club . . . The Mets announced that June 13 will be the date of Jerry Koosman’s uniform number retirement ceremony. Koosman wore No. 36.

New York Sports