Notes: Alou ready to shoulder load

Notes: Alou ready to shoulder load

NEW YORK -- It's going to take more than a couple of stitches to keep Moises Alou off the field.

A day after slamming into the left-field wall, cutting his chin and aggravating a shoulder injury suffered over the weekend, Moises Alou was back in the Mets lineup on Tuesday, hitting fifth. An MRI taken Tuesday on his jammed right shoulder came back negative, and that's all Alou needed to hear to take the field.

"He's a warrior," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He took a couple of stitches on his chin last night, and he was just mad that he had to come out of the game."

Alou originally jammed his shoulder in last weekend's series at Washington, but he continued to play without issue until Monday's collision with the wall. After finishing that eighth inning, he was lifted in favor of a defensive replacement, Endy Chavez, in the ninth.

The news is a sigh of relief for the Mets, who placed second baseman Jose Valentin and starting pitcher Orlando Hernandez on the disabled list on Monday. Alou, like those two, had been red-hot before the injury, and he entered Tuesday night's game 12th in the National League with a .349 average.

"You don't want to feel like the sky's falling or it's raining on you, so it's good to know that he was okay," Randolph said. "I was a little bit concerned, but thank goodness he's going to be all right."

Randolph said that he will likely give the 40-year-old Alou a breather in Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

Wright up top: With David Wright mired ever deeper in a slump, Randolph is experimenting with a new way to spark his sinking third baseman. Wright batted second on Tuesday for just the third time this season, instead of his normal fifth spot.

"I want to see if I can get David going a little bit," Randolph said. "I told him not to change anything, just keep it simple. I don't want him to be a prototypical second hitter, nothing like that. Just go up there and get a good ball to hit, and knock the [heck] out of it."

Wright is liable to see some better pitches sandwiched in the lineup between Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, who lead the team with matching .356 averages.

The move drops normal two-hole hitter Paul Lo Duca down to seventh, while both Alou and Shawn Green move up a notch from their normal spots.

Wright got hits in his first two at-bats, including his first home run of the season leading off the fourth inning.

Valentin leaning: Valentin made what's likely to be his last trip to Shea in a while Tuesday, limping around the Mets clubhouse on a pair of crutches.

Though Valentin said the crutches aren't necessary for him to walk, his doctors recommended he use them to keep pressure off of his injured knee for the next week or two.

"I want to stay away from that as much as I can," Valentin said. "It's not sore, it's not swollen, it's just stiff because it just happened two days ago."

Valentin has been riding a stationary bike without his brace, but he hasn't yet been cleared to put any weight on the knee. He'll travel to the Mets Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Wednesday to get ready for his upcoming rehabilitation program.

Beaming fan banned: The Mets fan who was ejected from Shea last month for shining a high-powered flashlight on two Braves players has now been banned from the stadium for three years.

Frank Martinez, 40, of the Bronx, will also serve 15 days in prison for shining the light on both Atlanta pitcher Tim Hudson and shortstop Edgar Renteria in a game on April 20.

Make way: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan on Tuesday to turn 60 acres of junkyards and auto-parts shops adjacent to the construction site of the Mets' new home into a neighborhood of homes, shops, offices and entertainment.

The new ballpark, Citi Field, is to open in 2009, adjacent to Shea Stadium.

The master plan for the area known as Willets Point includes a school, a 700-room hotel and a 400,000-square-foot convention center to be built in the next decade in the spot where 225 auto shops and 25 industrial and manufacturing businesses currently stand.

"We believe that out of these ashes can rise New York City's next great neighborhood, a dynamic center of life, energy and economic activity, and a model for sustainability and environmental stewardship," Bloomberg said. "After a century of blight and neglect, the future of this area is very bright indeed."

The redevelopment site is polluted from years of petroleum spills and will have to be cleaned up, Bloomberg said. Garbage and broken-down chassis are piled high, and there are no sewers. Many of the auto shops are low-rent chop shops in cinderblock sheds.

The city has promised to help the existing businesses relocate and will offer job training and other assistance to the estimated 1,300 workers who make their living there.

The property would have to be purchased from some 65 individual owners through negotiation or by eminent domain.

A different cap: Randolph is to deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2007 at Fordham University's 162nd commencement on May 19. The school will award an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree to Randolph, whose daughter, Ciara, will be graduating that day.

"This will be a special day," Randolph said on Tuesday.

And he smiled at the city scope of the planned day -- a kid from Brooklyn, speaking at a Bronx school before he is to manage his team in Queens against a team from the Bronx. The Mets play the Yankees later that afternoon at Shea Stadium.

Ciara will be the fourth of Randolph's four children to earn a college degree.

"Not bad for a guy who never went," Randolph said.

His other children, two daughters and a son, have graduated from Seton Hall, Felician College and Columbia.

This date in Mets history -- May 2: Little Alvin Jackson pitched a two-hitter in the Mets' 3-0 victory at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on this date in 1964. Jackson beat Jim Maloney, whose career record against the Mets was 19-8. In his career, Jackson pitched five complete games -- four of them shutouts -- in which he allowed one or two hits. The leadoff hitters were Ed Kranepool and Pete Rose. Kranepool led off seven times that season and 30 times in his career. ... A leadoff single by Al Luplow and a one-out triple by Kranepool -- one of his three hits -- and a pinch-hit single by John Sullivan produced the two runs in the 12th inning that pushed the Mets past the Giants, 3-2, at Shea Stadium on this date in 1967. The Giants had scored in the top of the inning on Willie Mays' third hit against starter Jack Fisher.

Gary Gentry allowed two hits -- both triples by Bobby Bonds that led to runs -- in pitching a complete game in the Mets' 4-2 victory at Candlestick Park on this date in 1972. ... Frank Viola pitched one of his four National League shutouts (in 85 starts) in the Mets' 5-0 victory against the Reds at Shea Stadium on this date in 1990. Viola struck out 11, equaling a career high, walked one and allowed six hits. ... Two years later, another left-handed pitcher with a pretty fair changeup beat the Mets in Atlanta. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine pitched one of five shutouts during his 20-8 season in a 3-0 victory.

Coming up: Two pitchers with no-hit stuff -- Anibal Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter last season, and Oliver Perez, who can shut down any offense -- are the starters in the finale of the Mets' three-game series against the Marlins at 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Anthony DiComo is an associate reporter for Reporter Marty Noble contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.