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Mets’ lineup change sparks Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets runs the bases

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets runs the bases against the Cardinals at Citi Field on July 19, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Looking to spark both his lineup and one of his most important bats, Terry Collins penciled Yoenis Cespedes fourth in the batting order for Wednesday night’s game against the Cardinals at Citi Field.

Cespedes, who batted third in 41 of the 43 games he had started this season entering play, was sandwiched between lefty bats Jay Bruce and Lucas Duda, respectively, against Cardinals starter Mike Leake.

“I just wanted to change it up a little bit and see if we can get him going,” Collins said of Cespedes, who entered the game just 2-for-12 since his 4-for-6 showing on July 14, the first game after the All-Star break. “I talked to him yesterday about hitting second again. But he brought up a great point. When he was hitting second, he was hitting great.”

Collins said the goal was to help alleviate the pressure on Cespedes while also putting a big bat behind him, hoping the leftfielder will get more pitches to hit.

Cespedes helped spark a first-inning rally, singling home Asdrubal Cabrera with two outs for the game’s first run. Cespedes then scored from first on Duda’s double in the left-centerfield gap.

He also ripped a first-pitch double to the base of the leftfield wall in the second, again scoring Cabrera. Trainer Ray Ramirez came out to check on him at second base, but Cespedes remained in the game. He later flew out in the fourth and struck out in the sixth inning.

Extra bases

Lefthanded reliever Josh Smoker (left shoulder strain) is moving closer to a return. He has allowed two runs on eight hits in 5 1⁄3 innings, including a scoreless inning for Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday night. Smoker has been on the DL since June 14 . . . Fomer Met Bartolo Colon is considering retirement, ESPN reported on Wednesday. The recently released Colon spurned overtures from the Mets to sign with the Twins. He lost his first start for Minnesota against the Yankees on Tuesday night. Colon, 44, is scheduled to start against the Dodgers on Monday . . . Top prospect Amed Rosario is expected back int the lineup on Thursday for Triple-A Las Vegas after missing Wednesday’s game with a bruised right index finger, general manager Sandy Alderson said.

New York Sports