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Reyes leaves with injury, Mets blow lead

The New York Mets' Jose Reyes talking to

The New York Mets' Jose Reyes talking to manager Jerry Manuel and trainer Ray Ramirez at first base while playing the Florida Marlins. Reyez was taken out of the game in the bottom of the second inning. (Aug. 26, 2010) Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Mets lost a game, a series and their shortstop last night.

Jose Reyes left the Mets' 11-4 loss to the Marlins at Citi Field in the second inning after aggravating the right oblique strain that caused him to miss 11 games in late June and July.

A team spokesman said the injury is considered "mild" - an interesting choice of words, given that Jason Bay's presumably season-ending concussion originally was called "mild" by the club.

The spokesman also said, "[Reyes] will hold off on baseball activities until he is pain-free" - an indication the shortstop could be out for a while.

After breaking an 0-for-11 slump with a single, Reyes was removed for a pinch runner after first-base coach Razor Shines noticed him wincing. Reyes had felt pain since batting practice but kept it to himself.

Manager Jerry Manuel and trainer Ray Ramirez talked with Reyes for a few minutes at first base before Reyes came out of the game. He tried to convince Manuel to let him run to test the injury, but Manuel said no.

"I felt it a little bit in batting practice today," Reyes said. "I didn't think it was going to be any problem for the game. My first at-bat, when I hit a fly ball to centerfield, I felt something there. When I got a base hit, that's when I feel a lot."

Reyes, who was replaced by Ruben Tejada, remained in the dugout for the rest of the half-inning. When he will appear in a game again is anyone's guess.

"I hope I'm not going to be [out] that long," he said. "I feel better than the last time. Let's see how I'm feeling tomorrow and we're going to go from there."

Said Manuel: "As of right now, we kind of see this as a day-to-day thing. As of right now. I mean, that could change when he comes in tomorrow. Depends on how he feels."

The evening started with great promise for the Mets, who jumped to a 4-0 lead after three innings against Anibal Sanchez (11-8). David Wright hit a two-run homer in the first, Angel Pagan had an RBI double in the second and Jeff Francoeur singled home a run in the third.

But after pitching no-hit ball for the first three innings, Jonathon Niese (8-6) gave up a double to Logan Morrison and a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez in the fourth. The Mets still led 4-2 going into the sixth before Florida scored seven times against Niese and Elmer Dessens.

The first four Marlins reached in the sixth, with Dan Uggla's RBI double making it 4-3. The bases were loaded with one out when Francoeur made a highlight-reel catch on Wes Helms' drive to right-centerfield. Francoeur grabbed the ball with a lunge on the dead run just as he hit the warning track. The tying run scored on the sacrifice fly, but Francoeur saved two other runs. Temporarily. "At the time, I thought it would be a big play for us," he said. "And then the wheels kind of fell off."

Brett Hayes hit a bloop double to right to make it 5-4 and finish Niese's night. Dessens gave up RBI singles to Donnie Murphy and Cameron Maybin and a two-run double to Morrison, and the Mets trailed 9-4.

Before the game, Manuel echoed Omar Minaya's comments, saying, "We feel like we're still in a race." But the Mets fell 71/2 games behind wild-card leader San Francisco with 35 to play.

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