Mike Jacobs #35 of the New York Mets reacts to...

Mike Jacobs #35 of the New York Mets reacts to a call against the Florida Marlins. (April 7, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Fernando Tatis started at first base for the Mets in yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Nationals, and he chipped in with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning. But the first-base platoon with Mike Jacobs has been a relative bust through the first five games; the two have gone 4-for-22 with three RBIs and seven strikeouts.

Tatis batted seventh Saturday and Jacobs was moved out of the cleanup spot for Friday's game, replaced by Jason Bay.

With Daniel Murphy progressing slowly from a knee sprain - he has yet to begin full baseball activity - the pressure to call on Ike Davis might start to grow. Davis is 4-for-10 with four walks, a pair of doubles and a home run in his first three games for Triple-A Buffalo.

Still, Jerry Manuel said he'd be "surprised" if the Mets summoned Davis from Buffalo before Murphy is activated from the disabled list. The initial prognosis for Murphy, who has a Grade 1 sprain, was two to six weeks, and that clock started 10 days ago. In the meantime, Manuel must try to get by with Jacobs and Tatis.

"I'd like to see someone do well and make it a difficult decision," Manuel said. "I think right now, Jacobs is off a little bit."

Third spot for Reyes?

Jose Reyes batted leadoff in yesterday's return to the lineup, but it might not be long before the Mets try him at No. 3 in an effort to bolster an otherwise weak middle. As to when Reyes could be moved, Manuel offered no specifics.

"That depends," Manuel said. "That depends on where we are as an offensive club and where he is as an offensive player. If we sense that the move makes us a better team at some point, we'd definitely consider it. That's why we thought long and hard about it all winter."

Extra bases

Manuel said he is likely to sit Luis Castillo again for today's series finale with Washington. Alex Cora started Saturday at second base to let Castillo rest a sore calf, but Castillo entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and reached on an infield single . . . Jeff Francoeur went 2-for-4 with a walk and has hit safely in the first five games, including three straight multihit games. He is 8-for-18 (.444) with five extra-base hits and a team-leading six RBIs.

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