Starter Aaron Laffey allowed 10 hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings, but manager Terry Collins indicated afterward the performance was good enough for Laffey to be used again the next time the Mets need a fifth starter.

"He made some big pitches when he had to make them," Collins said of Laffey, who stranded six baserunners in the first four innings. It also helped that he twice struck out struggling slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who was 3-for-13 with no RBI in the three-game series.

The Mets likely would need a fifth starter again at Colorado on April 16 in the second game of a four-game set.

Bullpen does the job

The bullpen strung together 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Laffey, making the successful ninth-inning comeback possible. Greg Burke began that procession by stranding two inherited runners in the fifth, and Scott Rice completed it by pitching a scoreless ninth for the win, his first. The 31-year-old lefty made his major league debut opening day.


Backup catcher Anthony Recker made his Mets debut and went 1-for-3, giving regular John Buck a rest. Recker threw out Donovan Solano in the third when Solano tried to advance on a pitch that popped out of Recker’s glove and bounced a few feet away. Buck struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game to catch. … Righty reliever Jeurys Familia was optioned to Class AAA Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Laffey. … Mike Baxter batted fifth for the first time in his major league career. He went 0-for-2 before Collins pulled him in a double-switch in the top of the fifth. … Former Met Jon Rauch, who spent 2012 with the team, threw a scoreless seventh for Miami in his first appearance against the Mets since leaving. Another former Met, John Maine, didn’t pitch during the three-game series. Maine hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 2010 because of arm woes, and still is awaiting his first appearance for the Marlins.