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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Justin Turner was decoy in ninth

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- Justin Turner held a bat and stood in the on-deck circle when Anthony Recker struck out to end Thursday's 2-1 loss to San Francisco Giants.

But Terry Collins confessed postgame that he actually had no intention of using Turner in the game.

Had Recker reached base, Collins hoped Turner being introduced as a pinch hitter would have prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to summon a righty pitcher to replace southpaw Javier Lopez. At that point, Collins would have countered by subbing lefty-hitting Mike Baxter for Turner.

Turner has not appeared in a game since Sept. 10 because of a Grade 1 right hamstring strain.

How close is Turner to returning to game action?

Turner said that's in the hands of the trainers at this point, but returning this weekend in Philadelphia is not out of the question. He did full baseball activities pregame Thursday, although he only ran at what he estimated was 75 or 80 percent.

Meanwhile, had the Mets tied the score, Collins said he was prepared to use Daniel Murphy at shortstop in extra innings. Omar Quintanilla had been pinch-hit for by Recker. And Wilfredo Tovar is not due to join the Mets until Friday.

Murphy has never appeared at shortstop in a professional game -- majors or minors.