SAN DIEGO - Mets first baseman Lucas Duda did not start Monday night's series opener against the Padres.
One day after he was hit on the right knee by a pitch, Duda had lingering soreness that prompted manager Terry Collins to scratch one of his hottest hitters.
"I just kind of got hit in a funny spot," said Duda, who has hit six homers in his last nine games. "We'll take today off and play tomorrow."
Despite bruising and stiffness, Duda insisted that he will be in the starting lineup Tuesday night against the Padres. He dismissed the need for X-rays.
Collins, however, took a more cautious view, refusing to commit to putting Duda back in the lineup Tuesday night.
"Treatment obviously has made it a little bit better," Collins said.
Duda is hitting .298 with nine homers and 25 RBIs. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Darrell Ceciliani, who was hitting .125 since his promotion from Triple-A Las Vegas. With Ceciliani in leftfield, Michael Cuddyer moved to first.
Noah Syndergaard didn't throw a pitch Monday. Thanks to an official scoring change in a game played 10 days earlier, though, the righthander's ERA dropped from 2.55 to 1.82.
Syndergaard was charged with two earned runs against the Pirates on May 22. But Gregory Polanco's single was changed to an error on Duda, making the two runs unearned.
Bench coach Bob Geren was away from the team to attend his son's graduation . . . Travis d'Arnaud (broken pinkie) could play in rehab games this week after suffering a bone bruise in his wrist, a setback in his rehab. Collins said there is no timetable for his return . . . Dilson Herrera (fractured finger) has resumed throwing and light hitting . . . Jenrry Mejia should be back in the United States within the next 10 days. During his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, Mejia has spent time at the team's complex in the Dominican Republic.
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