David Wright doesn't start because of stiff neck

David Wright watches from the dugout in the

David Wright watches from the dugout in the fourth inning of a game against the Miami Marlins. He sat out with a stiff neck before pinch-hitting in the 13th inning. (April 29, 2013) (Credit: AP)

MIAMI -- Mets third baseman David Wright hoped an evening of rest might alleviate the stiffness he felt in the back of his neck.

"But it got worse," said Wright, who did not start Monday night's 4-3, 15-inning loss to the Marlins, although he did pinch hit in the 13th inning and struck out.

Said Terry Collins, "They worked on him and they felt he's going to make progress. We'll see how he is tomorrow. But they loosened him up pretty good throughout the game and so that's why he went out and hit off the tee and said he felt fine.''

With virtually the entire lineup slumping at once, Wright has been one of the few exceptions, hitting .276 with a stellar .421 on-base percentage during the just-completed nine-game homestand. But even as Wright stretched with the rest of his teammates Monday afternoon, it was clear that he had trouble turning his head.

"I like to try to play through things," said Wright, who was out of the lineup for the first time in 23 games. "But this is just something where it would just be dumb to go out there, not just for hurting it more, but I would be no good for the team today."

Wright did some light stretching, then waited to be examined by a doctor.

He felt the stiffness in his neck early in Sunday's loss to the Phillies, though he persuaded Collins to let him finish the game.

Wright said he is "very unconcerned" about the injury, even though he described the stiffness as encompassing the right side of the back of his neck, extending down to his upper back. But Collins is playing it safe with his star. "We had suspicions, I had suspicions, along with the trainers that today he might be a little stiffer than he was," he said. "And I was just not going to take a chance today."

The Mets hit .154 as a team and averaged less than two runs per contest during their four-game losing streak. With Wright out, Justin Turner played third and hit second, and Daniel Murphy moved into the No. 3 hole ahead of Lucas Duda.

Said Collins: "Somebody else has got to pick it up."

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