Duda earns back-to-back starts at first base

Duda earns back-to-back starts at first base

Duda earns back-to-back starts at first base
NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda reached base three times in six plate appearances on Wednesday against the A's and was rewarded a day later with another start at first base in the series finale at Citi Field.

"I wasn't expecting to get the start yesterday because we were seeing a lefty, but today, we're seeing a righty," said Duda, who bats left-handed. "I think the more at-bats I get consecutively, we'll get to find out what I can do to help the team."

Duda went 1-for-4 from the seventh spot in the lineup on Thursday, starting back-to-back games for the fourth time this season. He has yet to start three consecutive games this season.

Manager Terry Collins said prior to the game that he made the decision in part due to Tuesday's news that starting first baseman Ike Davis, out since May 10 with an ankle injury, could miss the rest of the season if he is not able to run in three weeks.

Collins said he will be looking to give Duda more at-bats, to see where he'll fit in on the team going forward.

"I'm going to get him as many at-bats as I possibly can," Collins said. "We're going to try to make sure that we don't put him in a situation where he's over his head. We brought him here for a purpose. He's had some pretty good at-bats the last couple of days, so I'm going to try to get him a number more."

This is Duda's second stint with the Mets this season, having been sent down to Triple-A in early May after making the big club out of Spring Training. In 38 games with Buffalo this season, he posted a 1.011 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, versus a .470 mark in 22 games with New York.

Duda told reporters that he struggled with his confidence during his first time in the Majors but said he is beginning to gain confidence and that regular playing time will only help the process.

With Davis and third baseman David Wright on the shelf, Duda is one of four players -- along with Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner -- competing for the three starting spots in an infield that includes shortstop Jose Reyes.

"Going out there and having four, five at-bats every day, I think that's definitely going to help your timing, your confidence, all those things," Duda said.