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Cedeño gets his chance to lead off for Mets

Ronny Cedeno plays third base against the Washington

Ronny Cedeno plays third base against the Washington Nationals. (April 10, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

The last time the Mets regularly had a Cedeño atop their lineup was 2003. That was the speedy, switch-hitting Roger, a natural fit for the leadoff spot. Now it's Ronny Cedeño's turn, as Terry Collins batted him leadoff Thursday night for the first time this year and the seventh time in his seven-year career. (He went 0-for-5.)

That also meant a demotion for Andres Torres, who was dropped to seventh. Torres, who entered in a 1-for-28 skid in the last 10 games, went 1-for-3 and is hitting .192. In the same stretch, Cedeño was batting .303 (10-for-33), and Collins felt more inspired to use him against lefty Eric Stults.

"Ronny Cedeño has done nothing except buy into exactly what we want him to do," Collins said. " . . . He's swinging the bat very good right now. We've been looking for someone in that leadoff spot to get on base so when the three, four or five [hitters] come up, they have someone to hit in."

Trainer's room

Ruben Tejada (quad strain) was limited to running "half moons" in the outfield grass in preparation for possibly running the bases Friday. If his legs hold up, Collins hopes he will get in some sort of game Monday in Port St. Lucie . . . Jason Bay (fractured rib) is taking live batting practice in Florida and the plan is for him to DH in Class A games next week, which means he's not likely to return until early June . . . Josh Thole (concussion) has started baseball activity and could catch an inning of an extended game Friday.

Extra bases

New York Police Detective Kevin Brennan of Garden City Park, aka the "Miracle Cop" for surviving a bullet wound to the head from a murder suspect, threw out the first pitch . . . The NYU School of Medicine will host a special screening of "GIGANTE," the documentary dealing with Torres' struggles with acute ADHD on Thursday at Farkas Auditorium, 550 First Ave., Manhattan.


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