Andres Torres hits a three-run triple during the fourth inning...

Andres Torres hits a three-run triple during the fourth inning of a spring training game. (March 6, 2012) Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins was feeling so optimistic Tuesday night that he used a lineup against the Nationals that approximated what he hopes is his Opening Day order. The only absence was the injured David Wright, who continues to make progress with his strained abdominal muscle.

Then centerfielder Andres Torres strained his left calf in the second inning hopping to make a catch on a line drive and left the game. Another day, another Mets injury.

"If he misses a week, it's a big deal," Collins said. "If he misses two days, it's not a big deal."

Torres was replaced by Adam Loewen. The Mets have such little experienced depth in centerfield that Collins is planning on playing infield prospect Jordany Valdespin and Jason Bay out there in the next few days.

Scott Hairston (oblique strain), who would be Torres' backup, has begun working out and is still a candidate for the season opener.

As for Wright, Collins said: "I'm hoping he can get a couple at-bats this weekend. If not, then early next week and then we're talking about 10 days to get him tuned up. That's about [the] least amount of time you'd want to get someone ready."

Said Wright: "I'm progressing. It feels good. It's a progressive thing. You just don't grab a bat and start playing in games. It's slowly, but surely."

Ruben Tejada (groin) made his first start since March 11 and went 1-for-2 in the 2-0 win over the Nationals. The Mets had lost eight in a row (with one tie mixed in). Dillon Gee threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Lucas Duda homered off Stephen Strasburg.

Santana today

Johan Santana will make his fourth start Wednesday against the Cardinals in Jupiter. He is expected to throw about 80 pitches.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months