Daniel Murphy lines a two-run, seventh inning single off Tampa...

Daniel Murphy lines a two-run, seventh inning single off Tampa Bay relief pitcher J.P. Howell. (June 12, 2012) Credit: AP

The Mets' lineup on Friday did not include slumping second baseman Daniel Murphy for the third time in four games.

Murphy sat against Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte, but manager Terry Collins said he will be back in the lineup Saturday night against Ivan Nova. Murphy had two hits in his previous 16 at-bats and was batting .270 with no home runs and 28 RBIs.

"I want to win games now, but I also want to get Dan Murphy out of it," Collins said. "He's been a big piece of this whole thing since we showed up the first date of spring training . . . But the only way to get him out of it is to make sure he gets at-bats. He's not going to get out of it just hitting in the cage all day long. So we've got to get him some game time and some at-bats. Hopefully, he breaks out soon."

Justin Turner started at second base with Ronny Cedeño at short. Cedeño was activated from the disabled list before the game and reliever Elvin Ramirez was sent to Triple-A Buffalo as the Mets decided to go a man short in the bullpen.

The team will have another tough decision when starting shortstop Ruben Tejada (quad) is ready to return from the DL, possibly by next week. Omar Quintanilla, who has filled in nicely, would have to be exposed to waivers if the Mets tried to send him down.

Extra bases

Jason Bay (concussion) was at Citi Field on Friday for a medical test and was said to be feeling better. There is no timetable for his return . . . Johan Santana was given the key to the city by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg before the game in recognition of his June 1 no-hitter . . . Pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores will represent the Mets at next month's All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.

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