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Omar Quintanilla replaces Ruben Tejada again

Omar Quintanilla of the Mets plays shortstop against

Omar Quintanilla of the Mets plays shortstop against the Yankees in Game 4 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. (May 30, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

There was no reason for Mets fans to moan and complain about Ruben Tejada Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

That's because Tejada wasn't at Yankee Stadium. The beleaguered Mets shortstop was on his way to Port St. Lucie, Fla., after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps. Veteran shortstop Omar Quintanilla was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Tejada, and he scored a run in the Mets' 3-1 win over the Yankees.

Before Tejada was injured in the ninth inning of the Mets' 9-4 win Wednesday night, it looked very likely that he soon would be demoted to Las Vegas. He may have been saved from a demotion this week, but his job as the Mets' starting shortstop sounds anything but secure.

Through 50 games, Tejada is hitting .209 with a .267 on-base percentage. In a meeting with manager Terry Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson Tuesday night, Tejada was told that he was close to being demoted. Now the Mets have a chance to try out Quintanilla and sort through their options.

"If Omar Quintanilla is playing tremendously and doing what we know he can do, Ruben is going to have to make sure he's ready to play," Collins said. "Seeing what happened last year at this time when he got hurt, it was six weeks. If it's six weeks this time, a lot of things can happen in six weeks."

Quintanilla fell short of playing tremendously, committing an error in the second inning. David Adams' grounder right went through his legs and put runners on first and second with none out, but Dillon Gee pitched out of it.

Quintanilla went 0-for-2 before leading off the eighth with a walk. After reaching third with two outs on Joba Chamberlain's wild pitch, he scored on John Buck's infield hit, a dribbler up the third-base line that refused to roll foul.

Quintanilla, who filled in when Tejada was injured last season, hit .257 with five doubles and four RBIs in his 29 games with the Mets. He then was traded to the Orioles for cash considerations on July 20. The Mets signed him to a minor-league contract and brought him to spring training.

Quintanilla was told he would be going to New York when Las Vegas manager Wally Backman pulled him after the first inning Wednesdaynight.

Quintanilla said of Tejada: "To tell you the truth, I don't know how long he's going to be out. I'm just going to take it day by day and give it all I've got each night."

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