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Good signs for Murphy, Wright
VIERA, Fla. -- Daniel Murphy wasted no time in his first Grapefruit League action of the spring.
The Mets second baseman lined a broken bat single to right field on the first pitch he saw on Thursday afternoon against the Nationals. He followed by tagging up on Lucas Duda's long fly ball, sliding headfirst into second base to beat the throw.
"Yeah, I felt pretty good," Murphy said. "I think I bit the ground. But I felt pretty good on it. Goodie [first base coach Tom Goodwin] looked at me a little funny but it was the right play."
Murphy also lined out against Gonzalez and then struck out, finishing 1-for-3 in his first taste of game action since last season.
"I actually was pleasantly surprised at how far along I was, not only on the base hit, that was trash," Murphy said. "The lineout, it was a good swing, it was a good at-bat, especially off of Gio. And even on the last at-bat, on the strikeout, it felt good. I fouled a breaking ball off and I felt good in there."
Murphy, who missed virtually all of spring training with a strained right intercostal muscle, appears on track to play on Opening Day. The Mets hope to use him again on Friday against the Cardinals and on Sunday against the Orioles.
"That was the good thing about today," Murphy said. "I didn't feel it at all and was able to just play the game. Now, it's just use these next two days to get my legs underneath me as much as possible, and look forward to going north."
Meanwhile, David Wright finished 0-for-3 but walked twice and scored two runs in a Single-A game against the Marlins on Thursday. For the first time since his return from the World Baseball Classic, Wright also played five innings at third base.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday night that he wants Wright to play on Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota. However, Wright told reporters that he wants to play as early as Friday against the Cardinals.