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Francoeur says he'll get bulk of time in right

With Monday's off day, Jerry Manuel could have

With Monday's off day, Jerry Manuel could have moved up Mike Pelfrey (above) to start on Wednesday, but he instead chose leave Pat Misch in that spot. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Jeff Francoeur last night said he met with manager Jerry Manuel and has been told he will get the bulk of the playing time in rightfield the rest of the season. Francoeur went 0-for-3 with two sacrifice flies in the Mets' 6-5 win over the Marlins. He is batting .227 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs.

"We've got to find a way to get Frenchy going," Manuel said before the game. "He's an important part of the team and the fabric and the makeup of the team."

Francoeur lost his full-time job when Carlos Beltran returned in July and then again earlier this month when Fernando Martinez was called up to see if he could hit major-league pitching.

Now, with Martinez back at Triple-A and Jason Bay (concussion) possibly out for the season, Francoeur only has to beat out Chris Carter and Jesus Feliciano for playing time.

"It does give me a lot of confidence that Jerry told me, 'You're going to play,' " he said. "I came up with some big sac flies tonight against a guy who's tough [Josh Johnson]."

The next five pitchers scheduled to start against the Mets are righthanders. Francoeur is batting .208 vs. righthanders.

Rotation gets a stay

Manuel decided to keep his rotation the same this week after Monday's day off. There was a chance he would move up Mike Pelfrey to start Wednesday night against the Marlins and drop Pat Misch to Saturday, but Manuel decided to keep Misch in tonight's spot, followed by Jonathon Niese, Pelfrey and Johan Santana.

"Our starters have been giving us some length lately," Manuel said. "When your starters are giving you length this late in the season, you've got to give them a day."

Niese wasn't going to move out of his spot Thursday night and Manuel said recent talk of Niese going on an innings count - he's at 138 right now (plus six innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo) after throwing 120 total in 2009 - is just talk.

Parnell eager to close

Bobby Parnell, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning last night, said before the game that he'd like to get a shot at closing. "I'm ready whenever the [bullpen] phone rings," he said.

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