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MLB Team Report - New York Mets - INSIDE PITCH
Seeking offense, the Mets shored up their outfield Monday by signing outfielder Rick Ankiel to a big-league contract.
Ankiel, whom the Astros cut last week, arrived at Busch Stadium about two hours prior to Monday's game, then started in center field batting seventh. His arrival was so fresh that he did not even have his own bat and glove, borrowing that gear from catcher John Buck and pitcher Jon Niese, respectively.
That proved significant. Wearing Niese's glove, Ankiel was unable to corral a Ty Wigginton double in the seventh inning, allowing the Cardinals to push across the winning run in a 6-3 Mets defeat. The Mets also lost to the Cardinals 10-4 Tuesday, running their skid to five games.
"I don't want to make excuses," Ankiel said. "I do think if I have my glove, it stays in there. But I'm the type of person that I feel like if I got a glove on it, I should have caught it."
With the Mets, Ankiel will platoon in center field with rookie Juan Lagares, who had been starting most days before the veteran arrived. Ankiel hit .194 with five home runs in 25 games with the Astros, striking out in more than half his plate appearances.
"Obviously, you are looking to reduce our number of strikeouts," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said. "But when you cite all the things in the mix and you look at what's available ... we have a lot of confidence that he can maybe cut down a little bit on that and still give us some of that power."
Ankiel wound up pinch-hitting Tuesday and was 0-for-1.
MLB Team Report - New York Mets - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost five
PAST 10 GAMES: 3-7
NEXT: Shaun Marcum (0-3, 8.59 ERA) at Cardinals (Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.58 ERA)
--RHP Shaun Marcum will make his fourth start for the Mets, still seeking his first victory. He also has never won a game in St. Louis, in his home state, having not earned a decision in two career starts at Busch Stadium. His last start came last September, for the Brewers, when he gave up first-inning home runs to Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. Marcum grew up and graduated from Excelsior Springs High School, near Kansas City, and then attended Missouri State in Springfield.
--OF Marlon Byrd had a double and two-run homer for the Mets Tuesday night, and hopes the team can finally begin to generate some offense after breaking a string of scoring three runs or less in their seven previous games. "It's been tough for us," he said. "We're still working and we have to stick to our approach. We know we can score runs. We did in April. We just have to get back to that."
--RHP Dillon Gee saw his record fall to 2-5 after allowing nine hits and six runs, five earned, in four innings of work. "I don't know what's going on," he said. "I didn't feel all that bad tonight. I'm a ground-ball guy and I think seven ground-ball hits got through. I don't know what else to do. That's what I'm trying to do. It seems like a recurring thing right now that every single one of them finds their way through."
--RHP Zack Wheeler, one of the Mets' top pitching prospects, has left Triple-A Las Vegas to visit team doctors in New York. Wheeler was complaining about soreness in his right clavicle. The Mets do not believe the injury is serious but he is expected to miss at least one start.
--RHP Scott Atchison was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of right elbow inflammation. He did not retire any of the three batters he faced Monday night, including giving up a homer to Matt Holliday.
--RHP Collin McHugh, who was 3-2 with a 2.74 ERA in eight starts at Las Vegas, was recalled to replace RHP Scott Atchison. McHugh also pitched in eight games for the Mets last year, going 0-4.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've just gone through a bad stretch and it's been two weeks long, and we can't sit here and hide the fact and try to make some positives out of it. We're just not hitting and I'm just hoping that the four-run inning maybe gets us going again." -- Manager Terry Collins, after the Mets lost 10-4 to the Cardinals Tuesday, their fifth loss in a row and the seventh in their last nine games. It was the first time in their last eight games that they scored more than three runs.
MLB Team Report - New York Mets - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP Scott Atchison (inflammation in right elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 14.
--RHP Jeurys Familia (right biceps tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 9.
--RHP Frank Francisco (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on April 17. He sat out two weeks before resuming action for St. Lucie on May 5. He threw a scoreless inning for St. Lucie on May 9 -- his third scoreless outing in a span of four days -- but general manager Sandy Alderson said Francisco will remain on a rehab assignment and will pitch at the higher levels of the minors before he returns to the Mets.
--RHP Jenrry Mejia (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 13. He completed a four-week throwing program, and he is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie in mid-May.
--LHP Johan Santana (torn left shoulder capsule) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 6. He underwent season-ending surgery April 2.
--LHP Pedro Feliciano (left shoulder surgery in September 2011) began pitching for Class A St. Lucie on April 15, with the goal of increasing arm strength. He isn't on the Mets' disabled list, as he signed a minor league contract in February. He suffered another setback May 9 when he was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Class A St. Lucie due to a lingering bout of food poisoning. Feliciano first got sick in late April and has officially been diagnosed with ciguatera, a form of fish food poisoning.
--LHP Tim Byrdak (left shoulder surgery in September 2012) re-signed with the Mets on a minor league deal. He might miss the entire season.
LHP Jon Niese
RHP Matt Harvey
RHP Dillon Gee
RHP Jeremy Hefner
RHP Shaun Marcum
RHP Bobby Parnell (closer)
RHP Brandon Lyon
RHP LaTroy Hawkins
RHP Collin McHugh
LHP Scott Rice
RHP Greg Burke
LHP Robert Carson
1B Ike Davis
2B Daniel Murphy
SS Ruben Tejada
3B David Wright
INF Justin Turner
LF Lucas Duda
CF Jordany Valdespin
RF Marlon Byrd
OF Juan Lagares
OF Mike Baxter
OF Rick Ankiel