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Team Report - NEW YORK METS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

NEW YORK -- Injuries to second baseman Daniel Murphy and third baseman David Wright forced the New York Mets to get creative with their lineup during this week's series against the Atlanta Braves.

However, on a night when catcher Travis d'Arnaud made his first major league start in the cleanup spot, it was temporary No. 2 hitter Juan Lagares who once again stole the spotlight Wednesday in the Mets' 3-2 loss.

While d'Arnaud went 0-for-4 -- and was robbed of two singles by otherworldly Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons -- Lagares went 2-for-4 with an RBI. In his past five games, Lagares is hitting .500 (9-of-18) with two homers and seven RBI.

The center fielder's RBI in the eighth inning Wednesday indicated how quickly the Mets have come to trust him in run-scoring situations. Lagares stepped to the plate with runners at first and second, nobody out and first baseman Lucas Duda -- he of the 12 homers since the All-Star break -- standing on deck.

Instead of asking Lagares to bunt, the Mets gave him the swing-away sign. He delivered his hit two pitches later.

"I really think, in a situation like that (with) the way he's been swinging, he looked down and didn't see the bunt sign, I think he said 'Wow,'" Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Because he expected to bunt, I'm sure.

"And that's what I want to see: Those guys rise up and take control of some stuff. He's really coming into his own right now."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 62-71

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Braves (LHP Mike Minor, 5-8, 4.90 ERA) at Mets (LHP Jonathon Niese, 7-9, 3.47 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LHP Jonathon Niese will look to get back on the winning track when he takes the mound for the Mets on Thursday in the finale of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Niese had a two-start winning streak snapped last Friday, when he gave up five runs (two earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out four over 6 2/3 innings in the Mets' 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Niese is 6-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 career starts against the Braves. He last opposed Atlanta on April 18, when he took the loss after giving up one run over six innings as the Mets fell 6-0.

--3B David Wright (neck spasms) missed his second consecutive game Wednesday, when the Mets lost to the Braves 3-2. Wright, who suffered the spasms when he left in the third inning of the Mets' 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, participated in baseball activities prior to Wednesday's game, and he could play in Thursday's series finale.

--2B Daniel Murphy (sore right calf) missed his second consecutive game Wednesday, when the Mets lost to the Braves 3-2. Manager Terry Collins said the Mets will be cautious with Murphy -- who began feeling tightness in the calf Sunday, when he left in the ninth inning of the Mets' 11-3 win over the Dodgers -- because aggravating the injury could knock him out for weeks instead of days.

--RHP Vic Black (herniated neck disk) was unavailable for a second consecutive game Wednesday, when the Mets lost to the Braves, 3-2. Black underwent an MRI exam Wednesday afternoon and was told he will need a few more days of rest.

--LHP Josh Edgin (bone chips in left elbow) was unavailable for a second straight game Wednesday, when the Mets lost to the Braves, 3-2. Manager Terry Collins was hopeful prior to Wednesday's game that Edgin could return to action soon.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He made (a play) on me earlier this year where he caught it, fell down on his back and threw it when he was laying down. So, I mean, it's kind of expected now. Whenever I hit it there, I just run as fast as I can." -- Mets C Travis d'Arnaud, who was robbed of two hits by Braves SS Andrelton Simmons in Atlanta's 3-2 win over New York.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--3B David Wright (neck spasms) left the Aug. 24 game, and he didn't play Aug. 26-27. He is day-to-day.

--2B Daniel Murphy (sore right calf) left the Aug. 24 game, and he didn't play Aug. 26-27. He is day-to-day.

--RHP Vic Black (herniated neck disk) was unavailable Aug. 26-27. He is expected to miss at least a few more days.

--LHP Josh Edgin (bone chips in left elbow) was unavailable Aug. 26-27. He is day-to-day.

--RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 25. He began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on Aug. 11, and he started for Double-A Binghamton on Aug. 16 and for short-season Class A Brooklyn on Aug. 21. He threw a long bullpen session Aug. 25, which meant he would not make an additional rehab start for Brooklyn on Aug. 28.

--RHP Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery in October 2013) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He threw from 120 feet May 9. He threw off a mound for the first time Aug. 1. The Mets initially planned to have Harvey pitch in the instructional league and/or in the Arizona Fall League this fall, but GM Sandy Alderson said Aug. 12 that the team may limit Harvey to just bullpen sessions. Harvey threw off a mound Aug. 18, his fifth mound session since Aug. 1. The Mets initially planned to have Harvey pitch in the Mets' instructional league and/or in the Arizona Fall League this fall, but manager Terry Collins said Aug. 14 that Harvey will not pitch in a major league game this season.

--RHP Jeremy Hefner (Tommy John surgery in August 2013) joined the Mets in Miami to do rehab work on May 6. He threw off a mound for the first time since his operation on June 10, when he threw 15 pitches at the Mets' spring training complex. As of Aug. 11, he was dealing with a re-injury to an elbow ligament and a stress fracture in his right ulna. Surgery is a possibility.

--RHP Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery in April 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 1, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 14. He will miss the entire season.

ROTATION:

RHP Bartolo Colon

RHP Zack Wheeler

RHP Dillon Gee

RHP Jonathon Niese

RHP Jacob deGrom

BULLPEN:

RHP Jenrry Mejia (closer)

RHP Jeurys Familia

RHP Carlos Torres

LHP Josh Edgin

RHP Vic Black

LHP Dana Eveland

RHP Buddy Carlyle

CATCHERS:

Travis d'Arnaud

Anthony Recker

INFIELDERS:

1B Lucas Duda

2B Daniel Murphy

SS Ruben Tejada

3B David Wright

INF Eric Campbell

INF Wilmer Flores

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Eric Young Jr.

CF Juan Lagares

RF Curtis Granderson

OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

OF Matt den Dekker

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