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Collins staying level-headed about new order

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NEW YORK -- Terry Collins is nothing if not persistent.

New York's manager stuck to his guns Saturday, when he used the same batting order that netted three hits in a shutout loss to the Phillies on Friday. Collins credited opposing starter Kyle Kendrick for shutting his team down, but he said he can't allow that to interfere with his game plan.

Mike Baxter was batting leadoff again on Saturday, and Daniel Murphy and David Wright were batting back to back in the heart of the lineup. Collins said things will change in Sunday's series finale against left-hander Cole Hamels, but he wanted to give Wright another shot in the cleanup slot.

"We thought this out pretty good to try to get some guys on ahead of David," said Collins. "Giving it one night and then saying, 'Blow it up,' I don't like the way that looks. We'll try it again."

Wright went 1-for-4 on Friday night, and the Mets had just one runner reach scoring position against Kendrick. But there's reason to believe the new alignment can work. Wright has played in 192 games as a cleanup hitter, and he's batted .308 with 31 home runs and 123 RBIs in 730 at-bats.

The Mets grouped Lucas Duda, John Buck and former cleanup man Ike Davis in sequence after Wright, giving the team plenty of power to spare in the bottom part of the order. Now, said Collins, the key is to be patient and wait for Philadelphia's pitchers to make a mistake or two.

"You always hope somebody runs away with the job. On a daily basis, you put the lineup up there and say, 'I want one of those guys to step up and start mashing,'" said Collins. "That team over there, I know it's been a couple years, but they won five years in a row. They're pretty good. And [Kendrick] pitched a good game. It wasn't that we put the wrong guys in the lineup. He pitched a great game, and I'm not going to show panic by saying, 'Now we've got to change the lineup again.'"

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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