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Kelly Shoppach given chance to see if he's a fit

Kelly Shoppach crosses home on a solo home

Kelly Shoppach crosses home on a solo home run against the Washington Nationals. (Aug. 17, 2012) Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA — Mets manager Terry Collins was going to start Kelly Shoppach against Cole Hamels on Wednesday. When the Phillies scratched Hamels because of a stomach ailment and switched to righthander Tyler Cloyd, Collins could have gone with Josh Thole to gain the platoon advantage. He didn’t.

Part of that is Shoppach’s 3-for-5 (single, double, home run), 3-RBI night on Tuesday in the Mets’ 9-5, 10-inning victory. The other is that the Mets want to see what they have in the 32-year-old Shoppach, whom they acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 14. He is a free agent after the season.

“I want to give Kelly a shot,” Collins said. “We brought him here to find out if it’s going to be a fit. I think he needs some playing time to find that out.”

Collins said he expects to play Thole the next three games against righties. Thole is batting .242 with one home run and 18 RBIs. Since joining the Mets, Shoppach is batting .318 with two home runs and five RBIs. He drove in the tying run on Tuesday with an eighth-inning double and his two-run homer in the 10th capped the Mets’ four-run inning.

“This actually helps me some to calm down coming to a league where I don’t really know what anybody’s doing,” Shoppach said. “I don’t have the luxury of having faced most of them in the past.”

New York Sports