ST. PETERSBURG -- On paper, Rays left-hander David Price presented a bad matchup for Ike Davis -- the type of matchup to which Mets manager Terry Collins once swore he would avoid exposing his slumping first baseman.
But with Davis beginning to show signs of life at the plate, Collins penciled him into Wednesday's lineup at Tropicana Field, batting Davis seventh against Price and the Rays. It marked just the second time in eight games that Davis had started against a left-handed starter -- and this one just so happened to come against the American League's co-leader in wins.
"I just wanted Ike to get in there," Collins said. "I just think it's important that we start running our lineup out there. We've got to start finding out what we've got."
Collins did make some concessions against Price, starting Scott Hairston over Lucas Duda in right field, Mike Nickeas over Josh Thole at catcher and Vinny Rottino over a host of eligible candidates at designated hitter. But he said he was "intent" on playing Davis as well, one day after the first baseman went 2-for-4 with his first home run in more than a month.
"You know what? Everybody's going to go 0-for-4," Collins said. "Just because he's facing a tough pitcher tonight and he's 0-for-3, or if he's 1-for-4, that's not a setback. If Ike has a bad night, that's not a big deal."