New York Mets: Ruben Tejada

Morning Briefing: Wheels up!

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
5:25
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler has allowed one run and completed at least six innings in each of his last four outings.

He looks to keep that production going and get the Mets back on track Friday at Miller Park. Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) opposes right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79) at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Friday’s news reports:

• The Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would want in if the club is willing to trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, Joel Sherman reports in the Post.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019 and $14 million in 2020. CarGo is signed for $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.

Of course, John Harper in the Daily News had just written Wednesday why Tulowitzki will NOT be coming to the Mets or Yankees.

Dillon Gee surrendered six runs over the opening three innings and the Mets ultimately lost to the Brewers, 9-1, in Thursday’s series opener. Gee now has a 9.00 ERA in two starts since a prolonged layoff during the All-Star break.

The Mets are averaging 2.1 runs and 5.3 hits per game and have a .168 team batting average in seven games since returning from the All-Star break. Matt Garza, who had been knocked out by the Washington Nationals after recording only one out Saturday, limited the Mets to one run on two hits in eight innings. The lone damage came on a solo homer by Lucas Duda in the seventh.

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed a pair of home runs in two relief innings and appeared to be injured when he reached the dugout after the seventh, but Terry Collins said postgame that he was unaware of any issue.

Read game recaps in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and at MLB.com.

• Although Ruben Tejada felt fine a day after getting beaned with a 94 mph fastball from Taijuan Walker, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores and started him at shortstop on Thursday. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to Las Vegas to clear the roster spot. Tejada should be back at shortstop Friday. Read more in the Journal, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with a flu-like illness.

• Colon Plaia’s ninth-inning solo homer lifted Savannah to a 2-1 win against Augusta. Josh Prevost, Kelly Secrest and Paul Paez combined for four scoreless relief innings as Brooklyn beat Vermont, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tom Seaver tells the Daily News that Derek Jeter should be the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets closer Billy Wagner turns 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets are serious contenders if the Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez?

Tejada expected to return Friday

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
7:36
PM ET
MILWAUKEE -- Ruben Tejada has to wait another game before he can try out his new batting helmet. The old one was cracked when Taijuan Walker beaned him with a 94 mph fastball in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Mariners in Seattle.

Manager Terry Collins is taking the cautious route with his 24-year-old shortstop.

“Talked to the trainers last night,” Collins said. “We thought we’d give him one more day just as a precaution. He feels great. Said he could play, but we’ll just give him today and get him back in there tomorrow.”

[+] EnlargeRuben Tejada
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsRuben Tejada will have one more day to recover.
Tejada, who was cleared to fly with the team to Milwaukee, said that he didn’t have any headaches, dizziness or blurred vision.

“I feel good,” he said, adding that he had watched the video replay of that painful moment. “It looked bad. It scared me. I heard the sound.”

Tejada said that he had never been hit in the head before at any level of baseball.

Infielder Wilmer Flores, 22, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas, and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to make room for him. It’s Flores’ third stint with the big club this season. He was up from May 8-June 25 and from April 2-6. He’s batting .225 (18-80) with three doubles, one home run and seven RBIs in 25 games during those stretches.

Flores was swinging the bat real well before the call-up. He was batting .323 with 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 57 RBIs in 55 games with Las Vegas.

Collins would like to keep the youngster’s bat in the lineup but knows that Tejada gets his old spot back for Friday night’s game against the Brewers.

So, will Flores take the plane back to Las Vegas right away?

Collins didn’t think so. In fact, he thought that Flores might even play a few more infield positions before a decision has to be made.

“We’re going to try to work him into the lineup as best we can,” Collins said. “Make sure he gets at-bats, maybe split some time with Ruben, give Dan [Murphy] a day off here or there, maybe have him play third base once in a while.”

Right now, Collins doesn’t want the distraction of having to decide between Tejada and Flores.

“We’re playing pretty good,” Collins said. “I’m trying to keep things from being disruptive as much as I can. I like the way things are going right now.”

Morning Briefing: Say cheese?

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
5:25
AM ET
SEATTLE

FIRST PITCH: After stops in San Diego and Seattle, the Mets now move further east as they begin a four-game series against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee is coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Dillon Gee (4-2, 2.92 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Garza (6-7, 4.04) in the 8:10 p.m. ET series opener.

Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.

Thursday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before surrendering a seventh-inning single to Robinson Cano and the Mets held on to beat the Mariners, 3-2, in Wednesday’s rubber game. The Mets are very open to dealing Colon before next Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, although they will need to locate a partner willing to accept the $11 million he is owed next season. Because of the size of Colon’s contract, he likely will remain eligible to be traded in August.

Read game recaps in the Seattle Times, Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.

Ruben Tejada was beaned by a fastball from Mariners rookie Taijuan Walker in the fifth inning. Terry Collins said Tejada displayed no concussion symptoms and indicated no roster move was forthcoming. Tejada accompanied the team on its flight to Milwaukee. Still, Eric Campbell may start the series opener in Milwaukee at shortstop to give Tejada one day off. It would mark Campbell’s first major league start at shortstop, and his fifth professional game overall -- majors or minors -- at the position. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Under-the-weather Curtis Granderson missed a second straight game Wednesday. It is not yet clear if he will be available for the series opener against the Brewers because of continued flu-like symptoms.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests Troy Tulowitzki is not a fit for the Yankees or the Mets. "[Sandy] Alderson’s priority has been building depth into the farm system," a GM told Harper. "So he wouldn’t give up multiple prospects, especially for that type of risk, regardless of whether ownership would take on the contract -- which seems unlikely."

• Right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle, who lost his major league roster spot when Jonathon Niese was activated from the disabled list on Monday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Las Vegas.

• Steven Matz allowed two runs in seven innings and Binghamton beat Portland, 4-2. Rob Whalen earned the win in his first Savannah start since May 1 as the Gnats beat Augusta, 7-2. Dale Burdick’s sacrifice fly broke an eighth-inning tie and the GCL Mets won, 9-6, against the GCL Nats. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Las Vegas reliever Miguel Socolovich turns 28.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is 3-3 acceptable through two legs of the road trip?

Tejada dodges bullet after beaning

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
7:46
PM ET

Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsRuben Tejada went to the ground after getting hit in the helmet by a fifth-inning fastball Wednesday.
SEATTLE -- Ruben Tejada appears to have dodged a bullet Wednesday when he was beaned by a 94 mph fastball in the fifth inning by Taijuan Walker, which left a baseball imprint on the front of Tejada’s helmet.

A smiling, laughing Tejada said he never suffered a headache. Doctors have cleared him to accompany the team on its flight to Milwaukee, although Terry Collins indicated it would be sensible to give the shortstop one day off.

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Collins said no roster move is forthcoming. A team official told ESPNNewYork.com that a move would be considered Thursday if Tejada were to suffer some setback.

As a result, there’s a fair chance Eric Campbell will make his first major league start at shortstop in the series opener against the Brewers so Tejada can have one day to rest.

The Mets do not have a bona fide backup shortstop on the major league roster.

“Everything right now looks OK,” Collins said. “He has no symptoms of what they were looking for. But sometimes these things pop up a little later, some dizziness or something.”

Said Tejada: “I took a couple of tests in the training room right after he hit me. Everything is positive.”

Tejada fell to the ground after the fifth-inning beaning. He said that was mostly a precaution to ensure nothing was wrong.

“That’s why I stayed down there, so I could stay relaxed and see how I feel,” Tejada said. “… A high fastball, like 93, 94 mph, it scared me. I tried to protect myself. That’s the only thing I could do in that moment.”

Said Collins: “The doctors say he should be OK. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow. I may just give him another day to make sure he’s OK.”

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Mariners 2

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
6:47
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Forget about a no-hitter. Bartolo Colon flirted with perfection Wednesday.

Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced, until Robinson Cano delivered a two-out line-drive single into left field in the seventh. The Mets ultimately held on for a 3-2 rubber-game win against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Jenrry Mejia recorded the save despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth.

It marked the longest perfection bid by a Met since Matt Harvey also retired the first 20 batters on May 7, 2013 against the Chicago White Sox.

The ex-Yankee Cano had been a quiet 1-for-10 in the series before the opposite-field single.

Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsBartolo Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced on Wednesday.
Colon ran out of gas in the eighth. With the Mets leading 3-0, Colon issued a leadoff walk to Corey Hart and one-out single to Dustin Ackley. Brad Miller then nearly delivered a game-tying three-run homer. Instead, the ball struck the top of the right-center wall for an RBI double that pulled the Mariners to within 3-1.

With two in scoring position and one out, Terry Collins inserted Jeurys Familia, and he got Willie Bloomquist to bounce into a run-scoring groundout (after a replay review reversed the on-field call). Familia then struck out ex-Met Endy Chavez to strand the potential tying run at third base.

Colon’s final line in a 101-pitch effort: 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.

The Mets are now 3-3 through stops in San Diego and Seattle on their second-half-opening trip. They moved back within eight games of first-place Washington, which lost against Colorado.

The 41-year-old Colon was bidding to become the second-oldest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter and the oldest to throw a perfect game. Nolan Ryan had two at an older age, at 43 and 44 with the Texas Rangers. Neither was a perfect game. Randy Johnson had a perfect game at age 40 and is the oldest ever with such a distinction.

The last perfect game in the majors came on Aug. 15, 2012 by Seattle’s Felix Hernandez against Tampa Bay.

Of course, Johan Santana tossed the only no-hitter in Mets history. It came on June 1, 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets have made Colon available in trade talks, although there did not seem to be much in the way of scouts at Safeco Field who came to evaluate him Wednesday.

The Mets gave Colon a run to work with before he took the mound on Daniel Murphy's RBI double against Taijuan Walker in the first inning. After the Mets loaded the bases against Walker in the sixth with none out, reliever Dominic Leone entered and limited the Mets to a sacrifice fly by Juan Lagares, which staked the Amazin’s to a 2-0 lead. David Wright added an RBI single the following inning.

Beaned: Ruben Tejada took a 94 mph fastball from Walker directly to the front of the helmet in the fifth inning. Tejada went straight to the ground, but ultimately walked off under his own power. Eric Campbell replaced him.

If Tejada lands on the concussion disabled list, the Mets could summon Wilmer Flores, who is playing nearby with Triple-A Las Vegas in Tacoma, Washington.

The Mets do not have a bona fide backup shortstop on the major league roster. Campbell’s action Wednesday marked only his second major league game and fourth professional game at shortstop.

What’s next: The Mets travel to NL Central-leading Milwaukee for a four-game series. Dillon Gee (4-2, 2.92 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Garza (6-7, 4.04) in Thursday’s 8:10 p.m. series opener.

Ruben Tejada beaned, departs game

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
5:02
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Ruben Tejada was struck flush in the front of the helmet by a 94 mph fastball from Seattle Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker in the fifth inning Wednesday.

Tejada dropped to the ground. He eventually walked off the field under his own power.

Tejada was replaced by Eric Campbell.

The Mets do not have a bona fide backup shortstop on their active roster. Triple-A Las Vegas actually is playing nearby in Tacoma, Wash.

Morning Briefing: Colon Day!

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
6:22
AM ET
SEATTLE

FIRST PITCH: The Mets look for a rubber-game win Wednesday when Bartolo Colon opposes Seattle Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker in the 3:40 p.m. ET series finale at Safeco Field.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom continued to put up NL Rookie of the Year-type numbers. DeGrom limited the Mariners to one run in seven innings as the Mets won, 3-1, Tuesday. The Amazin’s snapped a three-game losing streak. Read game recaps in the Seattle Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Ruben Tejada's left hand was swollen, but the shortstop indicated he did not need X-rays after getting struck with a fifth-inning pitch on the left hand.

Curtis Granderson was held out of Tuesday’s lineup because of illness and Chris Young's left calf, which forced him to depart the series opener, continued to limit him. Read more in the Daily News.

• Noah Syndergaard tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 and Wilmer Flores lost a 22-game hitting streak as Las Vegas split a doubleheader at Tacoma. Left-hander Blake Taylor, the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade, tossed six scoreless innings as Kingsport blanked Greeneville, 5-0.

"For the most part, I attacked hitters," Syndergaard told milb.com. "I was trying to be a little unpredictable. I threw quite a bit of my curveball. I threw some pretty good curveballs, and some ended up out of the strike zone. Even though it wasn't for a strike, it showed the hitter I wasn't afraid to throw a breaking pitch in certain counts."

Read the full minor-league recap here.

Jeremy Hefner tossed three innings in his third Gulf Coast League appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery.

• Left-handed reliever Scott Rice is due to undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow and also to relocate a troublesome nerve. Read more in the Record and at MLB.com.

• Triple-A catching prospect Kevin Plawecki has been diagnosed with vertigo. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Citing a source close to Colon, ESPNDeportes.com’s Marly Rivera reported the San Francisco Giants have interest in the 41-year-old right-hander.

Executives from other teams tell columnist Joel Sherman in the Post that the $11 million owed to Colon in 2015 will make it very difficult to trade him. Writes Sherman:

Though there are multiple teams -- including the Yankees -- looking for rotation help, the case against Colon was described by several personnel men as significant. One put it this way: “His old team [the A’s] didn’t want to sign him for two years. The only team willing to sign him for two years already has him and that second year is a killer for the Mets to move him even if they don’t want any prospects back.”

Colon has a 4.12 ERA. But when you adjust that for the league and his big ballpark, Colon’s ERA is actually 15 percent worse than the league average. He already has surrendered 14 homers -- the same number as all of last season. There is always worry about his weight and his steroid past. All of that might be possible to overlook -- to some extent -- as one NL scout said, “if his contract were expiring.”

Read more in Newsday.

• ESPN’s Keith Law ranks the Mets’ farm system No. 4 in the majors. Writes Law:

The Mets have graduated a few prospects to the majors -- Travis d'Arnaud (No. 2 in the system coming into the year) and Jacob deGrom (No. 13) in particular -- but nearly all of the guys still in the system have taken steps forward. Noah Syndergaard (No. 1) has had an excellent year in the pitchers' hell of Las Vegas. Brandon Nimmo (No. 5) is hitting for power now that he's out of Savannah, a terrible park for left-handed power hitters. Catcher Kevin Plawecki (No. 6) continues to receive well, as expected, but he also has hit well enough to push himself up to Triple-A in his second full season.

ESPN Insiders can read the full entry here.

• The Mets will play the AL East in interleague play in 2015. In those years, the Mets and Yankees will meet six times, up from the now-customary four Subway Series games. The Boston Red Sox are tentatively due to visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30, Gordon Edes writes at ESPNBoston.com.

• Read more on Walker’s call-up to face the Mets in the Seattle Times.

• Marc Carig in Newsday and Sherman in the Post revisit the R.A. Dickey deal and ask if the Mets took the right pitching prospect in Syndergaard over Aaron Sanchez.

Eric Young Jr. cheered up a couple of boys he had a close call with in the left-field stands by giving them his wrist band after the half-inning, Carig writes in Newsday.

• Tim Rohan in the Times writes about the Mets’ second-half stumble.

BIRTHDAYS: Savannah left-hander John Mincone, a product of Half Hollow Hills East High School on Long Island, turns 25.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Jacob deGrom can win NL Rookie of the Year?

Tejada swollen, but no X-ray required

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
1:51
AM ET
SEATTLE -- Ruben Tejada did not require an X-ray on his swollen left hand after being struck with a fifth-inning pitch from Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez on Tuesday, the shortstop said.

Tejada finished the game.

"I'm sure they'll probably have it checked, but he seems OK," Terry Collins said. "It swelled up pretty fast. I was pretty surprised."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Mariners 1

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
12:59
AM ET
SEATTLE -- Game No. 100 is in the books.

Fueled by the latest dominating performance from Jacob deGrom and a fortuitous fielding play by Long Island University product James Jones, the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.

With the Washington Nationals beating the Colorado Rockies, the Mets (47-53) remained nine games out of first place in the NL East.

The Mets have scored only seven runs in their past 42 innings, but a two-run second inning was enough to get the job done this time.

After a leadoff single by Bobby Abreu against Erasmo Ramirez, Travis d'Arnaud hit a sinking line drive to center field. Jones tried to make the catch, but the ball scooted by him for what was ruled a run-scoring triple. Ruben Tejada eventually drove in d’Arnaud with a single as the Mets took a 2-0 lead.

DeGrom’s banner rookie season continued. He retired 11 straight batters at one point and limited Seattle to one run on five hits in seven innings. After the 107-pitch effort, deGrom now has posted a 1.59 ERA (7 ER in 39.2 IP) in his last six starts.

The lone run against deGrom (4-5) came on an RBI double by Dustin Ackley in the fifth. Ackley advanced to third base on the play on a throwing error by Daniel Murphy on a relay attempt to the plate. But deGrom stranded Ackley and maintained a 2-1 lead by coaxing a flyout from Mike Zunino and by retiring ex-Met Endy Chavez on a groundout.

Lucas Duda added a 444-foot solo homer in the eighth against reliever Tom Wilhelmsen.

Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia each contributed a scoreless relief inning.

Ouch: Tejada was struck on the left hand by a pitch from Ramirez in the fifth inning. He remained in the game after a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon (8-8, 4.12 ERA) opposes Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker, who will be called up from Triple-A Tacoma, in the 3:40 p.m. ET rubber game Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: Padres 2, Mets 1

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
7:19
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- At least they weren’t no-hit!

The Mets, who stormed into the All-Star break by winning eight of 10 games on their homestand, got tripped up in San Diego to open the second half. In his fifth major league start, eephus-throwing Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth and the Padres ultimately won, 2-1, in Sunday’s rubber game at Petco Park.

David Wright followed Murphy’s double with a game-tying RBI single on Despaigne’s 123rd and final pitch, snapping an 0-for-11 drought to begin the second half.

However, Seth Smith produced a walk-off win for San Diego with a two-out run-scoring infield single against Josh Edgin in the bottom of the ninth. Edgin stumbled trying to field the trickler and could not get the ball to first base in time.

Edgin had inherited the winning run on third base with two outs from Vic Black, who hurt himself. Black had issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Quentin, then had a fielding error on Alexi Amarista's sac-bunt attempt to place two on with none out.

The Mets (46-52), who fancy themselves part of the NL East race, fell eight games back of the victorious Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.


Jack Roth/USA TODAY SportsOdrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth.


The Padres, who have played 7,264 games in franchise history, remain the only MLB team without a no-hitter. They had a chance to win the game in the eighth after a leadoff triple by Will Venable against Jeurys Familia, but Chris Denorfia struck out and Chris Nelson followed an intentional walk by grounding into an inning-ending double play.

The Mets last were no-hit by Houston’s Darryl Kile in 1993. They have been no-hit six times in franchise history. The other pitchers to accomplish the feat against the Amazin’s: Sandy Koufax (1962), Jim Bunning (1964), Bob Moose (1969), Bill Stoneman (1972) and Ed Halicki (1975).

The Mets had loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks in the seventh, but Ruben Tejada hit a comebacker to Despaigne as the right-hander wriggled free.

Zack Wheeler departed after Tejada’s groundout with the Mets trailing 1-0. Wheeler has now completed six innings and allowed one run in four straight starts. He has sliced his ERA to 3.78.

Yasmani Grandal reached for a low-and-away pitch and hooked it over the right-center wall to lead off the bottom of the fourth against Wheeler for the lone damage against him. It was Grandal’s second straight game with a solo shot to open the scoring.

The Mets also were held hitless two outs into the eighth inning on April 18 against the Braves. After seven no-hit innings by Aaron Harang, Wright produced a two-out single in the eighth against reliever Luis Avilan that day for the lone hit in a 6-0 loss at Citi Field.

The Mets had been held hitless into the fifth inning Saturday against Tyson Ross.

Despaigne had allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in four innings against Las Vegas in his Triple-A debut on May 27.

What’s next: The Mets visit Seattle for the first time since 2005. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to start the series opener opposite left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54) at 10:10 pm. ET.

Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s July 21, 2004 major league debut -- an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium.

Rapid Reaction: Padres 6, Mets 0

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
11:24
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- That's going to put a dent in the run differential!

The Mets had a season-high-matching four-game winning streak snapped with a 6-0 loss against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night at Petco Park.

The Atlanta Braves lost and Washington Nationals won on Saturday. So the Mets trail both teams by seven games in the NL East, as they did when the second half began. Sixty-five games now remain.


Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsYasmani Grandal trots around the bases after a second-inning homer against Dillon Gee.


The Mets (46-51) had not been shut out since June 14, when San Diego’s Jesse Hahn, Dale Thayer, Joaquin Benoit and the now-departed Huston Street combined on a two-hitter in a 5-0 win at Citi Field.

Silent night: The Mets did not muster a hit against All-Star Tyson Ross until the fifth inning, when Travis d’Arnaud sent a leadoff trickler up the third-base line. Chase Headley elected to let the ball roll and it kicked off the base for an infield hit.

The Mets finally threatened against Ross in the seventh. Lucas Duda had a one-out single, Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked with two outs and Juan Lagares singled. However, Ruben Tejada struck out to leave the bases loaded.

Ross limited the Mets to four hits in seven scoreless innings. The Padres had scored a total of five runs with him on the mound in his previous eight starts.

Gee fizz: Dillon Gee surrendered four runs in five innings, including solo homers to Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable to lead off frames. It was Gee’s shortest start since June 22, 2013. He departed with the Mets trailing 4-0.

Grandal’s homer to right-center was estimated at 440 feet -- the longest at Petco Park this season.

Seth Smith welcomed Carlos Torres with a leadoff homer in the sixth as the lead increased to five runs.

Gee’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 HR. He threw 80 pitches in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

Gets a pass? D'Arnaud had two passed balls in the game, including one in the eighth inning that allowed a run to score. He has eight passed balls this season -- two shy of the MLB lead.

What’s next: The Mets and Padres play the rubber game Sunday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90 ERA) opposes right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35). The Cuban defector Despaigne rivals Bartolo Colon in hitting prowess.

Morning Briefing: Still rolling

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
5:41
AM ET
SAN DIEGO

FIRST PITCH: The Mets did not cool off during the break.

Now winners of nine of their past 11, they have climbed to four games under .500.

They try to keep the momentum going Saturday, with Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56 ERA) opposing right-hander Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85) at 8:40 p.m. ET.

Saturday’s news reports:

Travis d'Arnaud continued his solid production since returning from Las Vegas. Playing at the site of his major league debut last August, the rookie catcher finished 3-for-5 and drove in the tiebreaking run against Joaquin Benoit in the ninth as the Mets beat the Padres, 5-4, Friday at Petco Park. The Mets gained a game on the Washington Nationals, but remained seven games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Sandy Alderson said pregame that not much had transpired so far in terms of trade conversations with other teams. The GM also indicated that he did not intend to rent a player who would be a free agent at season’s end. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.

Jenrry Mejia pulled a Mark Messier and guaranteed to SNY the Mets are making the playoffs … or something like that.

“We’re gonna make it because we believe in ourselves,” Mejia told the network, via the Post. “We’ll be ready, and we’re gonna make the playoffs. We’re gonna be there.”

• Daisuke Matsuaka is headed to the bullpen, although the Mets do not intend to use him there Saturday or Sunday. They first want to be 100 percent sure Jonathon Niese will be able to come off the disabled list on Monday to face the Seattle Mariners. Niese threw a bullpen session Friday at Petco Park and pronounced himself ready for that assignment in Seattle. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record and Daily News.

• Top prospect Noah Syndergaard returned from a save in the All-Star Game and proceeded to allow seven runs in five innings on Thursday for Las Vegas at Salt Lake. Syndergaard now has a 5.74 ERA in 17 Pacific Coast League starts.

He told Jared Diamond in the Journal that most of his issues have been mental, including paying too much attention to the Super 2 deadline. "I was thinking about that almost constantly," Syndergaard said.

Pitch selection, and an overreliance on fastballs, also has been an issue. "I've had a hard time knowing what to throw in certain situations," said Syndergaard, whose fastball comfortably hit 98 mph Thursday.

• Jay Schreiber in the Times notes that the last time the Mets finished with a winning record and the Yankees with a losing record was back in 1990. Could it happen again?

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger lists six surprising stats for the Mets, including Ruben Tejada possessing the third-highest OBP among major league shortstops and the Mets leading the NL in home runs since June 17.

• Anthony Seratelli had a three-run homer and Cory Mazzoni earned the win in his Triple-A debut as Las Vegas held on against Salt Lake, 7-6. Robert Gsellman had a 10-strikeout game on his 21st birthday as Savannah beat Lexington, 5-1. Taylor Teagarden’s rehab assignment shifted to St. Lucie, which lost to Brevard County, 4-3. 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini was pulled from that game for an apparent disciplinary reason. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• First-round pick Michael Conforto is due to make his professional debut Saturday for the Cyclones as the designated hitter. Brooklyn hosts Williamsport at 6 p.m.

• Closer Huston Street was traded by the Padres to the Los Angeles Angels. Read more in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

• Benjamin Hoffman in the Times writes that San Diego may end up with the worst offense in major league history.

Dan Uggla was released by the Braves despite $18 million remaining on his contract through 2015. Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

• Nick Forrester in the Daily News profiles Cyclones GM Steve Cohen.

From the bloggers …Faith and Fear made it through the All-Star break, but just barely.

BIRTHDAYS: Rick Ankiel turns 35. ... Preston Wilson is 40. ... David Segui turns 48.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets finish with a better record than the Yankees?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Padres 4

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
1:20
AM ET
SAN DIEGO -- Travis d'Arnaud came back from Vegas with a cleared head and better plate coverage. The results speak for themselves.

D’Arnaud delivered a tiebreaking, two-out, full-count RBI single in the top of the ninth against Joaquin Benoit and the Mets returned from the All-Star break with a 5-4 win against the San Diego Padres on Friday at Petco Park.

D’Arnaud, who had three hits in the second-half opener, is now hitting .318 (21-for-66) since his return from Triple-A.

The Mets (46-50) avoided squandering a 4-0 lead. They have now won a season-high-matching four straight games. They also have won nine of 11.

They remained seven games behind the victorious Atlanta Braves in the division standings. The Mets last were this close to .500 on June 5.

Four-lorned: After limiting the Padres to one hit through four scoreless innings, Bartolo Colon allowed four fifth-inning runs. Chase Headley's two-out, full-count single plated two runners and evened the score at 4.

Colon departed for a pinch hitter in the top of the sixth with his pitch count at 86. He has allowed 17 earned runs in 26 innings over his past four starts. It marked his shortest outing since May 1 at Colorado.

The Padres, who have MLB’s most anemic offense, had been scoreless for 25 innings before the fifth-inning outburst.

The Mets had raced to a lead against Padres starter Ian Kennedy with a three-run first inning. D'Arnaud had a two-out RBI single. Juan Lagares followed with a two-run single. Kirk Nieuwenhuis added an RBI groundout in the third.

Outta here: The Padres traded closer Huston Street and a Double-A pitcher to the Los Angeles Angels during the game for Taylor Lindsey, Jose Rondon, R.J. Alvarez and another minor leaguer, ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported. The deal was not to be announced until after the game’s completion. Street had represented San Diego in the All-Star Game. He had converted 24 of 25 save chances during the first half.

Street likely would have been pitching the top of the ninth instead of Benoit had the deal not be agreed upon.

In a pinch: After a two-out double by Ruben Tejada in the eighth, Bobby Abreu grounded out as a pinch hitter. Abreu is hitless in his last 18 at-bats as a pinch hitter and is 2-for-27 on the season in that role.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85) at 8:40 p.m. ET Saturday.

TC: No plans to adjust OF/IF balance

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
7:45
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets are playing with an extra outfielder and only Eric Campbell, in reality, as a backup infielder. But there are no plans to readjust the balance out of the All-Star break, according to Terry Collins.

Until the Mets need to give Ruben Tejada a day off, which should not be required for a while, the Mets will not call up a bona fide backup shortstop.

That's true even with Wilmer Flores on fire in Las Vegas. Flores enters Sunday on a 17-game hitting streak. He's hitting .382 (26-for-68) with seven homers and 28 RBIs during that stretch in the Pacific Coast League.

Tejada has started 19 straight games at shortstop.

Asked about rebalancing the infield and outfield after the All-Star break, Collins did not even mention Flores.

"I don't know if we have any other options except continuing with what we've got," Collins said about the current balance. "I have not heard about any changes."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Marlins 1

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
4:29
PM ET
NEW YORK -- There may have been scoffing and eye rolls when Terry Collins built this up as a make-or-break homestand, considering the Mets entered the stretch 10 games under .500 and 10 games back in the NL East.

Well, say this for the Amazin’s: They enter the All-Star break on fire … and still relevant.

The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 9-1 win Sunday at Citi Field.

With an 8-2 homestand, the Mets (45-50) have moved into sole possession of third place in the NL East for the first time since May 4. They still are five games under .500 and likely will be seven games out of first place in the division with co-leaders Atlanta and Washington enjoying large late-game leads Sunday, but the mathematics take a backseat to the emotional high for the moment. Sixty-seven games remain.

Jacob deGrom, the third-most ballyhooed prospect in his prospect peer group with Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, continued to produce at a level that will make it difficult to entertain assigning him to the bullpen even for a week or two out of the break.

DeGrom limited the Marlins to one run in seven innings to win his second straight start and slice his ERA to 3.18. The lone run against him came in the fourth after Eric Campbell, in his first major league action at second base, retreated into right field calling for Garrett Jones' pop fly but lost the baseball. It dropped between Campbell and deferring right fielder Curtis Granderson for a two-out double. Marcell Ozuna followed by legging out a run-scoring infield single.

Heck, the Mets cannot afford to deprive themselves of deGrom’s bat, either. A half-inning after the defensive bungle evened the score at 1, deGrom followed an intentional walk to No. 8 hitter Ruben Tejada and restored a lead with a two-out RBI single. It was deGrom’s first career RBI.

DeGrom clearly is entrenched in the rotation for the long haul. Collins even acknowledged pregame Sunday that he arranged his second-half rotation to separate the similar-throwing Zack Wheeler and deGrom. Still, Collins had floated Saturday that deGrom might spend a week or two in the bullpen out of the break to conserve innings if Sandy Alderson deems it necessary -- temporarily sparing Daisuke Matsuzaka a bullpen assignment with Jonathon Niese due to return from the DL.

Yet it is hard to conceive that a hard-charging team that fancies itself in the race intentionally would deprive itself of a wildly successful rookie’s starts, no? So deGrom ought to be starting in Seattle in the second series after the break.

He currently is at 112 innings for the season between the majors and minors. Alderson has said 185 innings is the rough cap.

The Mets opened Sunday’s scoring with a Lucas Duda double and Chris Young sacrifice fly in the second inning. Following deGrom’s two-out RBI single, the lead swelled to 3-1 later in the fourth on Granderson’s run-scoring bloop double. Marlins starter Brad Hand departed after that inning with a bruised right shin, which he suffered getting struck with a comebacker.

Granderson scored in the sixth for a 5-1 lead when second-base ump Will Little trumped an out call at the plate by ruling Granderson was interfered with by Ed Lucas while rounding second base. The Mets loaded the bases with none out in the ninth and produced four runs.

What’s next: The Mets reconvene Friday in San Diego for a trip that also takes them to Seattle and Milwaukee. Bartolo Colon handles Game 1, followed by Dillon Gee and then Wheeler. The Padres will throw Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Odrisamer Despaigne in the series.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 7 38 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 17
RBIL. Duda 53
RD. Murphy 58
OPSL. Duda .855
WB. Colon 9
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 121