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Facing demotion, Davis delivers in Mets romp

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Nobody is more upset about his struggles than Ike Davis, and everyone inside of the New York Mets' clubhouse was excited when his first plate appearance Wednesday night not only resulted in a good at-bat but also drove in two runs.

Faced with a possible demotion to the minor leagues, Davis capped a five-run top of the first inning with a two-run single as the Mets extended their season-high winning streak to four games with a 9-4 victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Davis went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in the two games against the Yankees at CITI Field and that came after he ended a 0-for-26 skid with runners in scoring position by getting the go-ahead single in the eighth inning in Sunday's 4-2 win over Atlanta.

Those two games were part of a 4-for-53 slump that prompted a postgame meeting with manager Terry Collins Tuesday. In that meeting demotion was discussed for him and Ruben Tejada, who ended a 0-for-12 skid with a single in the first before being removed due to a quad injury with two outs in the ninth.

"It is what it is," Davis said. "He basically just said that I've got to play better. That's what I'm trying to do. I've been trying to do that for a long time now. Nothing really has changed.

"Obviously I don't like playing bad. The fire's been lit for a while. I've been upset all year."

The left-handed hitting first baseman had two singles up the middle for his fifth multi-hit game of the season, and he is 4-for-13 in his last four games.

"We're all rooting for Ike," Collins said. "You have to root for him. He's a tremendous guy. He's a big part of this team. I think David (Wright) said it best, if we're going to have a chance to win here and that means this year. We're not talking championship. If we're going to have a chance to win baseball games, Ike Davis needs to be in the middle of that lineup."

The first hit also was a byproduct of a good at-bat for Davis, who raised his average to .160.

In his first-inning encounter with David Phelps (3-3), with the Mets already up 3-0, he fouled off two off-speed pitches. He then worked a full count by taking a fastball and two more off-speed pitches before lining a fastball up the middle, scoring John Buck and Rick Ankiel.

"There was more to it than two breaking balls and all of a sudden a full count," Buck said. "It was him laying off some off-speed pitches and working the count to get to the full count and earn himself the fastball. That at-bat was the type of at-bat that can definitely turn it around.

"He worked the whole at-bat to get to 3-2. He earned that fastball."

The Mets best showing at the plate in terms of runs since April 12 gave Jeremy Hefner (1-5) his first victory of the season and the team's first in his 10 starts. Hefner allowed three runs and nine hits and in six innings.

"That was my only goal today, to get a quality outing a good outing and get on the right side of it," Hefner said. "I didn't want to mess it up."

Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins combined to allow a run in three scoreless innings as the Mets took the season series for the first time since 2008. Hawkins gave up a two-out RBI single to Robinson Cano in the ninth and nearly collided with third baseman Wright on a foul ball, but ended it by fanning Travis Hafner.

"It's a big series for us because we're trying to get back in the mix of things," Collins said.

The Yankees lost their season-high fourth straight game and sixth in eight as Phelps had little fastball command and recorded just one out in his shortest career start.

"I was just leaving a lot of balls up," Phelps said. "They made me pay for it. It stinks. It's one of the worst outings you can have but I'm not going to let it kill me."

After the five-run inning, the Mets reached six runs for the first time since May 3 when Marlon Byrd hit a solo home run that bounced off of the top of the right-field wall and into the seats. They reached eight runs for the first since April 12 when Lucas Duda hit a two-run double to left field with two outs in the fourth and capped the scoring on an RBI single by Ankiel in the ninth.

Brennan Boesch ended Hefner's shutout bid with a one-out solo home run in the fourth.

NOTES: Collins did not get into specifics of what was said to Davis and Tejada about the possibility of being demoted. "I understand that was going to be asked today," Collins said. "I'll also tell you that when I have a meeting in my office, it stays in my office. If I wanted to broadcast what was being said to players on a daily basis, I'd invite everybody in. So I'll leave it at that." ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter played catch at Yankee Stadium for the first time since suffering a second fracture in his left ankle on April 18. If a CT scan comes back fine, he could be cleared to take ground balls and start hitting within a few weeks. Jeter did not set a timeline but said he hoped to return shortly after the All-Star break. ... Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain) and Mark Teixeira (right forearm) each went 0-for-2 in a minor-league rehab game for Double-A Trenton Wednesday. They are expected to appear in another game Thursday and are scheduled to return Friday against the Red Sox. ... Collins said Tejada sustained a quad injury in the ninth and will have examined further Thursday morning.
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