Marlins edge Mets behind Sanchez

Posted March 25, 2011, at 8:39 p.m.

JUPITER, Fla. — Anibal Sanchez has been Florida’s best starting pitcher this spring.

The right-hander pitched the Marlins to a 6-5 victory Friday over the New York Mets, throwing three-hit ball for 5 1-3 scoreless innings in his longest outing of the spring.

Mike Stanton had two more RBIs, one each on a double and a sacrifice fly. He has nine RBIs in two games since he made his Grapefruit League debut Thursday after missing most of the spring with a right quadriceps strain.

Chris Coghlan played center field for the first time since March 16. He entered as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said Coghlan, who has been bothered by a sore throwing shoulder, will start Saturday against the Cardinals. It will be the first time all spring that the Marlins’ projected outfield, including left fielder Logan Morrison, will play together.

“It’s not the scenario we were looking for, but that’s what we’ll get,” Rodriguez said. “If it’s going to be (the remaining) six games, at least they’re on the field.”

Ike Davis hit his third home run of the spring for the Mets.

Sanchez, who struck out four, will open the season as the team’s No. 4 starter. He’ll get one more spring training start, then make his season debut April 5 against Washington.

Sanchez is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts. Josh Johnson, the Marlins’ opening-day starter, has the team’s next-best ERA at 4.95.

“We liked what we saw but I still don’t think he is in 100 percent season shape regarding the command of his pitches, especially his fastball,” Rodriguez said.

Sanchez, who led the Marlins last year with 32 starts and 195 innings, missed a start earlier in the month because of a sore right shin after being struck by a hard grounder.

“Now everything is fine. Today I was little bit wild,” said Sanchez, who walked two and threw 49 of his 82 pitches for strikes. “I just want to go longer in spring training. I missed one start so I’d like to go six innings to be ready for the season.”

Relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco started for the Mets in place of Chris Young, who didn’t want to face the Marlins for what would’ve been a third time this spring.

Carrasco allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings. He made a throwing error in the third when his pickoff throw sailed past second base and into center field, allowing Hanley Ramirez to score.

NOTES: Mets RF Carlos Beltran plans to play five innings in the outfield Saturday in a minor league game. He has been sidelined with left knee tendinitis since playing his only Grapefruit League game on March 6. … The Mets added left-hander Tim Byrdak to the 40-man roster. He’ll break camp in the bullpen.

Angels 10, Athletics 3

PHOENIX — It has been nearly 10 years since the Angels made catcher Jeff Mathis their No. 1 pick in the draft.

He worked his way up through the minor leagues and last year, when it appeared he was on the verge of coming into his own with the big club, he broke his right wrist early in the season and missed 55 games.

Now, with Mike Napoli traded away, the path appears to be free and clear for Mathis, who turns 28 on opening day.

Mathis hit his first homer this spring and drove in three runs as Los Angeles beat the Oakland Athletics 10-3 Friday.

Mathis hopes his spring average of .375 is an example of what is to come. He enters the 2011 season with a career average of .199.

“Jeff has swung the bat well this spring. He needs to carry it over into the regular season,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He had a great 2009 postseason, but because of the injury, he was never really able to get his stroke.”

Mathis is eager to get going. His homer highlighted a four-run third against Brandon McCarthy, and Mathis added an RBI single in the fifth.

“It feels great, knock on wood,” Mathis said. “I’ve worked on some things this spring and things have worked out so far.”

He is excited about working with the Angels’ staff and Scioscia, a former catcher, likes how Mathis works with the pitchers. The team has a solid backup in Bobby Wilson.

The Angels got an effective pitching outing from starter Matt Palmer, who gave up one run and four hits in six innings. The run came on Andy LaRoche’s fourth homer, helping his bid to become one of Oakland’s utilitymen.

Howie Kendrick added three hits and two RBIs for the Angels.

Angels designated hitter Hideki Matsui was hitless in four at-bats, dropping his average to .115.

NOTES: Oakland optioned OF Chris Carter to Triple-A Sacramento. … The Angels wrap up the Arizona portion of their spring on Saturday with a game against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Ariz. … Oakland 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff raised his average to .412 with two hits. … A’s 1B Daric Barton is set to return to action on Saturday night against Colorado after missing time with a strained leg muscle.

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