- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Dillon Gee allowed two runs in two innings and Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 4 for 4 and scored a run, leading the New York Mets to an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Gee had been discussed in trade rumors this offseason and could lose his spot in the rotation with the return of Matt Harvey. He said he still has some things to work on.

“I felt fine,” Gee said. “I’m just trying to get my stuff together. It’s a matter of getting my pitches together.”

Wandy Rodriguez, who came to camp looking for a spot in the Atlanta rotation, allowed run and walked two in one inning. He signed to a minor league deal after starting six games for Pittsburgh last year, posting a 6.75 ERA.

“I feel fine physically,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t feel any pressure at all.”

Rodriguez’s chances improved when Braves General Manager John Hart said after the game that Mike Minor, who made 25 starts last season, is out indefinitely with tightness in his left shoulder.

Braves newcomers Jonny Gomes and A.J. Pierzynski both had RBIs in their debuts with Atlanta.

STARTING TIME

Mets: Manager Terry Collins said he wasn’t making any predictions on Gee after two innings in early March. “He had a good day and he settled down,” Collins said. “He’s had it up to here with the trade talk and he stepped up today.”

Braves: Rodriguez was winless last year in Pittsburgh. He has a 91-94 with a 4.06 ERA in 248 starts and 10 relief appearances with Houston and Pittsburgh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: General Manager John Hart said the team is simply trying to be proactive. Minor missed most of last spring training with a groin injury and struggled to a 6-12 season.

UP NEXT

Mets: Bartolo Colon will make his spring debut on Thursday against the Washington Nationals. He’ll be followed by Gabriel Ynoa, Cory Mazzoni and Josh Edgin.

Braves: Braves ace Julio Teheran will start for the Braves when they visit the Detroit Tigers.

SPEED TO KILL

Eric Young, Jr., batted only .229 in 100 games for the Mets last season, but he walked twice and scored a run in three plate appearances as the Braves’ leadoff hitter. He’s competing for one of the openings in the Braves outfield. With incumbent center fielder Melvin Upton out indefinitely with a leg injury, Young is hoping to use his speed to make a big impression with the Braves.

“I’m just trying to compete,” Young said. “I don’t have first-year jitters anymore and I am a lot more comfortable with myself.”

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