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Mets Insider: Lucas Duda swinging a hot bat

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Lucas Duda picks up where he left off in 2014 with a torrid start to the new season.Kathy Kmonicek/AP

Lucas Duda picks up where he left off in 2014 with a torrid start to the new season.

Lucas Duda’s torrid start to the season rolls on. The slugging first baseman had two hits and two RBI, including his first home run, in the Mets’ 6-1 win over Philadelphia Wednesday night.

In the three-game sweep, Duda hit .357 with five RBI and, for the season, he has a .353/.405/.559 slash line. Terry Collins sees a few reasons for him taking a leading role in the offense so quickly.

“With Michael Cuddyer and Dan Murphy hitting behind him, they have to give him something to hit, and one of the things you’ve seen the last few days with Lucas is that he’s patient enough to get some better pitches to swing at,” Collins said. “I believe Lucas Duda’s makeup has changed the last couple of years. He knows he belongs and he can hit and put up big numbers here.”

Duda’s homer was a blast to right center field to start the fifth and made the score 4-1. He added a run-scoring double in the sixth.

HAND IT TO ’EM

David Wright went to the DL, but all the injury news wasn’t bad. Cuddyer and Wilmer Flores — both hit on the hand by pitches in Tuesday’s win — were fine. Cuddyer, who came out of Tuesday’s game after being struck, played left field and went 1-for-4. Flores had been scheduled for a day off, but said he had no discomfort hitting, fielding or catching. “We’re thankful we’re only losing David for two or three weeks,” GM Sandy Alderson said. “We didn’t lose Cuddyer to a broken hand for several weeks. Flores got hit (Tuesday) night. It could have been a trifecta that we did avoid.”

SOUP’S ON!

When Wright got hurt, the Mets summoned Eric Campbell from Triple-A Las Vegas to take over the starting job at third base. The 51’s were in Sacramento, and what ensued was a fairly sleepless 24 hours with a good ending. Campbell took the last flight to Las Vegas Tuesday night and the first to New York on Wednesday morning. He got to the park a half an hour before batting practice, coming right from the airport.

But in his first at-bat in the second, Campbell — hitting ,550 for the 51’s — singled to left and scored the Mets’ first run.

“I was running on adrenaline,” Campbell said.

When the Mets opted to go with eight relief pitchers, Campbell paid the price and ended up in the minors. Not anymore. “This is a good feeling,” he said. “The way I played last year and in spring training really helped. I want them to feel they won’t miss a beat with me out there,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

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FOR NO. 42

Wednesday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball, with all the players donning his No. 42. Curtis Granderson also wore a pair of one-of-a-kind cleats designed by Chicago graffiti artist The Soul Revival. They are blue with Robinson’s number and “JRD” emblazoned on them.

Granderson is going to auction them off and give all the proceeds to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Mets before Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies. Yes, David Wright went on the disabled list. But Michael Cuddyer and Wilmer Flores — both hit on the hand by pitches in Tuesday’s win — were able to play.

Cuddyer, who came out of Tuesday’s game after being struck, started in left field and batted cleanup. Flores had been scheduled for a day off, but said his left hand “doesn’t bother me — I can hit, I can do everything.”

“We’re thankful we’re only losing David for two or three weeks,” GM Sandy Alderson said. “We didn’t lose Cuddyer to a broken hand for several weeks. Flores got hit (Tuesday) night. It could have been a trifecta that we did avoid.”

Though X-rays on Cuddyer were negative, he feared there could be considerable swelling the next day “but I woke up and felt fine.”

Ruben Tejada started at shortstop.

PITCH PLANS

Though Vic Black (shoulder) and Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) are on minor league rehab assignments, Alderson gave no timetable for their return. “They’re progressing. It’s hard to know when they’ll be back,” he said. “They need to show they’re healthy and that they can be effective as well.” . . . Travis d’Arnaud moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order where Wright had been stationed because of his .308 average and, Collins said, “when he’s swinging good, he gets on.” It also means the club’s top RBI guy — he had seven coming in — will have fewer chances to drive runs in.
 

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