JUPITER, Fla. — James McCann (back) is back.

 The Mets’ starting catcher returned to the lineup as expected Tuesday night — in a 10-0 exhibition win against the Marlins — after he was sidelined for a week by back soreness.

In addition to playing three innings behind the plate and going 1-for-3 at it, McCann checked off a bunch of other items on his to-do list: ran out a double (first at-bat), blocked a pitch in the dirt, threw down to second base and caught righthander Chris Bassitt (4 2/3 scoreless innings) for the first time.

Since he has played in only two exhibition games — now with just a week of spring training remaining — McCann will need to keep being productive to be ready for Opening Day.

“That’s going to be the challenge of the next week, to see how many at-bats I can get and get as comfortable as I can,” McCann said. “I haven’t seen live pitching for four months. It’s an up-and-down battle to get comfortable.”

Manager Buck Showalter said: “This is a big game for him tonight. If he comes out of this physically well, that’s going to bode well.”

Francisco Lindor (fourth homer in six games), Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil had multiple hits. 

Bassitt accomplished his goal by throwing 69 pitches in almost five innings. He struck out three and walked none. 

“It’s so much more about health right now than anything,” Bassitt said. “Results sound great, but I don’t really care about that. I’m not building much of anything with that now.”

Leiter’s latest

In camp for a few days as a guest instructor, former Mets and Yankees lefthander Al Leiter went out of his way to have multiple conversations with ace Jacob deGrom, whose delivery Leiter uses as an example of practical perfection when teaching youngsters.

But he also chatted with Max Scherzer, a kindred spirit of sorts. They have a similarly frenetic presence on the mound and when discussing baseball/pitching.

“He gets me,” Letier said, “and I get him.”

Last week, Leiter was in Arizona watching his son, Jack, the Rangers’ first-round draft pick (second overall) in 2021. The younger Leiter, already considered among the top prospects in baseball, is readying for his first professional season.

“He’s pretty good. Everybody says, ‘Is he better than you?’ ” Al Leiter said. “I’m like, ‘Heck yeah he’s better. But he’s got his work cut out to pass dear old Dad.’ ”

So long for now

When the Mets sent catcher Francisco Alvarez, their top prospect, to minor-league camp on Monday, they did so with a message: Good stuff, but keep working on defense, especially receiving pitches.

“He’s shown he’s got a chance to be an offensive force,” Showalter said. “He’s got good arm strength and great energy. The things that you’ve got to do to make pitchers confident to throw to you. And he’s got that. He’ll figure that out. He’s got a chance to be a really good one.”

Personnel news

The Mets claimed righthander Yoan Lopez off waivers from the Marlins and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. To make room on the 40-man roster, they put Joey Lucchesi (recovering from Tommy John surgery last year) on the 60-day IL.

Lopez, 29, has bounced from Atlanta to Philadelphia to Miami to now New York since November. He had a 4.25 ERA in 113 relief appearances for the Diamondbacks from 2018-21.

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