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Juan Lagares’ improved conditioning, attitude paying off

Mets outfielder Juan Lagares at spring training in

Mets outfielder Juan Lagares at spring training in 2016. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Juan Lagares became a man without a position when the Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes to return and play centerfield.

But to Lagares’ credit, he has not sulked about his status as a backup. On Tuesday, Lagares returned from a three-day absence because of a dental problem and went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs in the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Braves at Champion Stadium.

Lagares is 3-for-6 early in spring training. More important, he has impressed manager Terry Collins with his conditioning and his attitude.

“It starts out the way he came into spring training,” Collins said Tuesday. “He’s in tremendous shape. I think it’s a tribute to him, the way he’s gone about things. He’s bound and determined to show he belongs back in the lineup.”

Wright, execs to attend service

David Wright, COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson will lead a Mets contingent at a public memorial service at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Citi Field for media relations executive Shannon Forde, who died on Friday at 44 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Extra bases

Third baseman Wilmer Flores went 3-for-3 with an RBI. He was charged with an error in the second inning on a high throw to second on a potential double-play ball . . . OF Roger Bernadina went 1-for-2 with a walk in his Mets spring training debut after missing the first 10 days of camp because of a visa problem. Bernadina, who is from Curacao, said he had to go through Amsterdam to get his work visa to enter the U.S. . . . Rafael Montero allowed one run in one inning . . . The Braves scored two in the ninth off Zack Thornton to earn the walk-off win.

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