Mets morning briefing 9.1.11

Lucas Duda delivered a tiebreaking RBI single off left-hander Mike Dunn in the seventh inning as the Mets rallied from a two-run deficit to beat the Marlins, 3-2, on Wednesday.

Thursday's news reports:

Ike Davis has been running pain-free, so he will head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to test his left ankle with baseball activities and hitting. Terry Collins said the development is positive and offers hope of avoiding surgery, but assistant GM John Ricco said Davis is not firmly out of the woods until he continues to demonstrate progress. Meanwhile, Johan Santana may return to a minor league game Saturday for the first time in more than a month. Read more on Davis in the Star-Ledger, Post, Record and Newsday.

Gary Carter was taken to the emergency room Tuesday with blood clots in his chest and right leg, his daughter indicated. He will be treated with blood thinners.

Sandy Alderson weighed in on free agency and the 2012 payroll. And the GM sure seemed to float a $100 million to $110 million payroll, which sounds kind of similar to what Fred Wilpon said earlier in the year in a magazine piece, creating another stir.

• Infielder Josh Satin and right-handed reliever Josh Stinson will join the Mets on Thursday as rosters expand with Sept. 1 having arrived. A handful of additional call-ups, including outfielder Mike Baxter, should join the Mets after Triple-A Buffalo's season ends Monday. Read more in the Times.

• Duda described his game-deciding hit against the tough southpaw Dunn this way: "That was tough. I was trying to put the ball in play. He threw me two sliders -- one in the dirt and one down the middle. And then I just kind of went into battle mode because he's tough. I just tried to put the ball up the middle."

Said Collins about Duda's at-bat: "He fouls off two nasty sliders. And then the ball he hits, (hitting coach) Dave Hudgens came back and said, 'Wait until you see the replay of that at-bat.' He said he hit a 95 mph fastball on the outside corner. A terrific at-bat."

Duda, by the way, hit .319 with five homers and 20 RBIs in August.

Read more on Duda and the win in game stories from Newsday, the Times and Star-Ledger.

David Wright is not dwelling on the dimensions of Citi Field. But the third baseman did note he hit "800 feet worth of doubles" Wednesday. He seemed to express some relief that at least one of his shots against the Marlins likely will be a long ball next season if put in the same spot. Anything over 8-feet tall is expected to be a homer next year to left field, rather than the current 16 feet in some spots.

John Franco will throw the ceremonial first pitch to Mike Piazza before the ESPN-televised Sept. 11 game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. The Mets will wear hats from the New York City first responders again that day to honor rescuers and remember victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"Because the games were called on 9/11, we went back to Pittsburgh before we actually played a game in New York," Todd Zeile recalled Wednesday. "At that time we had been impacted by meeting with the families of the rescue workers. And so we had hats and T-shirts that we wanted to wear under our jerseys and on our heads during the game. And I can remember MLB saying we could do it as a tribute at the beginning, but we had to put our regular hats on for the rest of the game.

"The quote was attributed to me that I said, 'They're going to have to pry them off our heads if they think we're going to take those off.' But the quote was really attributed to me because I was the player rep. It was really a collective feeling from everybody in the clubhouse, and Bobby (Valentine) included, that, 'Hey, we're wearing these out there as a tribute. This is not some trivial, novel little sign and gesture. This is a tribute. And we're going to wear these hats until we can't wear them anymore, until they're ripped off our heads.' That was the feeling we had toward New York. There was a unity there."

Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Placing Jason Bay in center field between Daniel Murphy and Duda seems like a long shot for 2012, but Bay said he is capable of playing that position if the organization wishes. Read more on Bay in the Record, Daily News and Post.

Jose Reyes tells Andy Martino in the Daily News he is not consumed with a batting title, although friends do constantly text him updates about how Milwaukee's Ryan Braun performed. After going 2-for-4 Wednesday, Reyes continues to lead the National League at .336. Braun held serve with a 2-for-4 night too and ranks second at .333. The Mets have never had a batting-title winner. "I root for him because he is a friend, and I root for him because he is a teammate," Wright told Martino about Reyes. "I also root for him because I like hitting with runners in scoring position."

Chris Capuano is a free agent this offseason. Could he get a multiyear deal to be a starter?

Miguel Batista, 40, makes his Mets debut Thursday night against Florida.

BIRTHDAY: Left-hander David West, who was sent to the Minnesota Twins in the July 31, 1989 deal for Frank Viola, was born on this date in 1964.