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Chris Beck goes 3 innings to save other bullpen arms

He’d had plenty of rest, not having pitched since June 29.

Mets reliever Chris Beck allowed two runs in

Mets reliever Chris Beck allowed two runs in three innings Sunday against the Rays. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets’ Chris Beck wasn’t surprised when he was called upon to pitch multiple innings in Sunday’s 9-0 loss to Tampa Bay. With the Mets hosting a doubleheader against the Phillies on Monday and playing eight games in seven days entering the All-Star break, the bullpen is expected to be busy.

Beck hadn’t pitched since June 29 and hadn’t faced more than one batter in an outing since throwing 2 2⁄3 innings June 24. He said he felt rested, so when the Rays took an early five-run lead and the bullpen phone rang, he was ready for an extended outing.

“You really just try to save your bullpen arms,” Beck said. “Those guys have been working hard and I’ve had a little time off, so I would definitely expect to be out there long. And today was one of those days and I just tried to cover as much ground as I could.”

Beck threw 48 pitches in three innings, allowing two hits, four walks and two runs, including a solo home run by Jake Bauers. He replaced starter Chris Flexen, who allowed five runs in three innings. Tyler Bashlor, Paul Sewald and Tim Peterson each threw one inning, saving them for the week ahead.

“As long as you’re up here on the roster, for me especially, I just throw until they say not to,” Beck said. “And in a position like that, you have to bear down and know ‘hey, I’m going to be out here for a while.’ Unfortunately, today it didn’t work out for me.”

Notes & quotes: Jason Vargas (strained right calf) will make a rehab start Monday for Class A Brooklyn. He said he aims to throw 75 to 85 pitches and five to six innings. He hopes to return next weekend against the Nationals . . . The Mets optioned Drew Smith to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Flexen. Smith has made three appearances this season and last pitched June 29 at Miami . . . Mickey Callaway wouldn’t name a starter for Tuesday against the Phillies, saying he wanted to see how Sunday and the doubleheader on Monday go. Zack Wheeler and Corey Oswalt are scheduled to start Monday.

With Tim Healey

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