New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil runs on his...

New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil runs on his RBI double against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning of an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jeff McNeil wanted to make something happen on a roller toward first in the Mets’ second inning Friday night and went low to try to avoid the tag. He didn’t, but Rhys Hoskins still made a bloody mess of things.

The Philadelphia first baseman stepped on McNeil’s right thumb with a cleat.

“Nothing really hurt,” McNeil said before the Mets’ 1-0 win Saturday night at Citi Field. “I got back to the dugout, took off my glove and blood was kind of going everywhere. So I was kind of a little bit shocked at that.”

McNeil left the series-opening loss after the inning because of the laceration and got two stitches, but Buck Showalter had him right back in the lineup, batting eighth and playing second. McNeil singled and walked in three plate appearances. “I woke up today feeling pretty good,” he said. “Not as bad as we thought.”

Eduardo Escobar also departed Friday for a pinch hitter during the second because of tightness in his left side. The switch-hitting third baseman wasn’t in the starting lineup Saturday, replaced by Luis Guillorme. Aaron Nola was pitching and Escobar was batting .202 against righties, so he probably wouldn’t have been starting even if he were healthy.

Showalter hopes he can avoid the injured list. Escobar had an MRI Friday night. The results?

“Good,” Showalter said. “There was nothing there that should be long term. It’s just a matter of how long we’re willing to wait and how we find that out, where it is. It’s like, OK, he might be a little sore. What can he do? What can he not do? Can he run? Can he play defense? Can he hit lefthanded? Can he hit righthanded? You’re trying to figure out all this stuff and then make a good decision.”

 

The Mets summoned infielder Gosuke Katoh from Syracuse to be on the taxi squad just in case a move needed to be made with Escobar or McNeil.  

More injury updates

Tylor Megill (strained right shoulder) is scheduled to throw a 15-pitch bullpen session Sunday, his first since getting hurt in mid-June. The Mets intend to use him as a reliever when he’s healthy. Megill recently said he’s aiming to return by late August or early September.

Drew Smith (strained right lat) will throw Sunday for the first time in his more than two weeks on the IL. He didn’t offer a timeline for a return but said his ramp-up shouldn’t take too long because he hasn’t been sidelined for an extended period.

Tommy Hunter (lower-back soreness) started a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton, striking out two and allowing a hit in a scoreless inning.  

Welcome back

The Mets signed outfielder Travis Jankowski to a minor-league contract, a source said. With the Mets most of the season and the Mariners briefly, the former Stony Brook star has hit .167 with a .445 OPS this year.

Jankowski is a solid defense-and-speed backup outfielder type, and now he rejoins the Mets in the minors, as they hoped he would when they designated him for assignment late last month.   

Look out

In the tensest moment of the Mets’ win — top of the ninth, two outs, runners on second and third, Edwin Diaz trying to escape — one of Francisco Lindor’s contact lenses fell out. said, ‘I was hoping the ball wouldn’t be hit to me, because I could only see the top half of it’ or something. I don’t know. He’s probably pulling my chain,” Showalter said. “Then he showed it to me. It’s got dirt [on it]. He didn’t want to slow down the momentum, I guess.”

Lindor’s impaired sight didn’t factor into the result as Diaz struck out Nick Castellanos for the final out.

 With Tim Healey