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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Collins to Tejada: Quit the uppercuts

By Adam Rubin

ST. LOUIS -- Ruben Tejada returns to the lineup after a day off. Terry Collins said the message to Tejada during early batting practice Tuesday was simple: Stop hitting fly balls.

Tejada is hitting .186 (8-for-43) in May.

“You’ve got to get out of that. Fly balls aren’t going to help you,” Collins told Tejada.

Said the manager: “He’s a line-drive hitter who stays above the baseball.”

SHIPMENT ARRIVES: Rick Ankiel, who dropped a critical sinking liner that allowed the eventual go-ahead run to reach base in his Mets debut while borrowing Jonathon Niese's glove, finally has his own equipment.

“Now those balls will stick in that glove,” Collins said.

HE’S AVAILABLE: Collins would not be eager to use Collin McHugh tonight, but the call-up probably would be available for an inning, with 30 or 35 pitches maximum. McHugh threw 100 pitches over seven innings with Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday.

FORMIDABLE FOE: Collins said he watched the tape of Shelby Miller mowing down 27 straight Colorado Rockies after allowing a leadoff hit in his most recent outing.

Said Collins: “I took a big, big gulp and said, ‘OK, we’ve got a little challenge ahead of us tonight. Let’s see if we can rise up.’”

EXTRA HELP: In response to a lighthearted question about whether he would ever use Ankiel to pitch, Collins more seriously said backup catcher Anthony Recker might be the emergency guy. Recker recently registered 93 mph while throwing in the bullpen.

Ike Davis is also on that list,” Collins said, half-seriously. “If we keep wearing out our bullpen, they may be in there pretty soon.”