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No word on Reyes, but Beltran is expected to play again

So what will the Mets lineup look like tonight?

Last night brought the return of Carlos Beltran, who made his first appearance this season after undergoing right knee surgery during the off season. But Jose Reyes was late scratch from last night’s lineup because of that bothersome oblique.

Tonight’s lineup hasn’t been posted, but the Mets could be without Reyes again. And speculation had been rampant that Beltran won’t play on consecutive nights for a while. But our Mets beat writer David Lennon said Beltran will play tonight.

If Reyes returns and assuming Beltran plays, it will be the first time since May 20, 2009 that the Mets had both in the lineup together. Having Reyes at the top of the lineup and Beltran in the cleanup spot changes the Mets offense dramatically.

The Mets may need all the help they can get against Giants starter Barry Zito (7-4, 3.76 ERA). Although the soft-tossing lefty is 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA in his last three starts against the Mets and 1-3 with a 5.19 ERA in his last 10 starts, he’s 5-1 (2.83 ERA) at home this season.

The Mets are hoping Jon Niese (6-3, 3.61) ERA can keep them close if Reyes and or Beltran aren’t available. The Mets have won seven of the last eight games Niese has started. The only set back was a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati on July 7. Niese pitched well, striking out eight and giving up three runs and six hits over 7 2/3 innings.

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