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Bay, Turner sit with injuries

Mets' outfielder Jason Bay in the dugout during

Mets' outfielder Jason Bay in the dugout during a game at Citi Field. (May 18, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jason Bay, fresh off Friday’s three-hit performance, returned to the bench Saturday. Only this time it was for a stiff neck, a lingering condition that Bay aggravated on a diving attempt in Friday’s 8-1 loss to the Rangers.

In the first inning, Bay laid out unsuccessfully on a leadoff double by Ian Kinsler, but didn’t really feel the effects until the eighth, following the last of his three singles. When Bay awoke yesterday, he realized it might be a problem.

“I’ve been playing with it and it hasn’t been bad,” Bay said. “I don’t know what changed — the dive, the heat.”

Bay reported no issues looking to his left, meaning it wouldn’t really affect him at the plate. But turning his head to the right was painful, and Bay looked very uncomfortable trying to do so as he talked with reporters.

“I just need enough to be able to look up for a fly ball,” Bay said.

Terry Collins is hoping that the day off will allow Bay to play in today’s series finale against lefthander Derek Holland.

Justin Turner also took a seat Saturday because of his aching right thumb, which flared up again Friday after Darren Oliver jammed him with a fastball in the eighth inning. Turner already uses a pad taped to his bat handle to help protect the thumb, but it’s been tough for it to heal completely without a prolonged break.

“It’s nothing serious,” Turner said. “The best solution for it is just rest.”

Collins sat Turner for two days in Atlanta earlier this month, and that helped. The manager said the disabled list has been considered. “We talked about it last week,” Collins said. “But the swelling went down pretty good.”

Collins anticipates starting Turner Sunday.

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