Ruben Tejada finds his swing at perfect time
Nobody in the Mets' everyday lineup could rival Ruben Tejada's spring training struggles. The shortstop left Florida with his batting average at .096. But in the Mets' 11-2 victory over the Padres Monday, an Opening Day triumph powered by critical two-out hits, it was Tejada who began the charge.
With two outs in the second, he doubled to leftfield, driving in John Buck all the way from first base. In the seventh, Tejada singled to extend a rally that Collin Cowgill capped with a grand slam.
"Spring training is history," said Tejada, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. "We started the season today so we started on the right foot."
"He reassured me he will be ready and he will be the same guy that I've seen in the past during the season," manager Terry Collins said before the game. "I cannot explain what happened in spring training, why he didn't swing the bat the way he's capable of."
The Mets scored all but two of their runs with two outs, finishing 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"It's what we did last year in the first half that made us so competitive in the first half," Collins said. "You just grind out at-bats. You don't give up with two outs, especially with guys in scoring position, and obviously the biggest one to get us going was Ruben's, to be honest."
New guys produce
Cowgill, Marlon Byrd and Buck went 6-for-14 with five runs and seven RBIs in their Mets debuts. "You want to get everybody involved," David Wright said. "For the most part, we did, especially the guys where maybe this is their first Opening Day or first Opening Day with us. You want to make them feel comfortable and at home as soon as possible."
The Mets classified pitcher Shaun Marcum's injury as right biceps tendinitis when he was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday, retroactive to March 22.
The Mets also placed Frank Francisco (recovery from elbow surgery), Jenrry Mejia (right elbow tendon inflammation), and Johan Santana (left shoulder capsule tear) on the disabled list retroactive to March 22.