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Collins doesn't start struggling Murphy

New York Mets' Daniel Murphy watches his run-scoring

New York Mets' Daniel Murphy watches his run-scoring double against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning of a baseball game. (June 9, 2011) Credit: AP

While Jason Bay got a chance to show what he’s got in the cleanup spot, Daniel Murphy took a seat on the bench last night.

Manager Terry Collins rested the struggling Murphy — who had been hitting fourth — against lefthander Gio Gonzalez. The first baseman was replaced by Lucas Duda, another lefthanded hitter.

“He’s got really good numbers against lefthanders. I thought I’d get Duda in there today,” Collins said. “I thought he needed to keep getting some at-bats. Murph is struggling a little bit so I wanted to make sure he gets the chance to work on some things with Dave . Try to get some righties in there, and with our situation at first base, we’re going to need a lefthanded hitter.”

Collins said Murphy, in a 3-for-29 slump since June 14, is so aggressive he sometimes expands the zone, especially against lefties.

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