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WSH@ARI: Zimmermann snares an eye-level liner

Sometime soon, Mets manager Terry Collins will remove David Wright from the lineup, giving the third baseman his first rest of the season.

That day just won't come Sunday. Wright will continue trying to find his way at the plate in the series finale against the Nationals, while the rest of New York's lineup attempts to replicate its performance in Saturday's victory.

"Those kind of guys, they work their way out," Collins said of Wright, who finished 2-for-4 with two singles Saturday to raise his average to .281. "If he said, 'Hey, look, I'm out of gas,' that's one thing. I just asked him [Saturday] morning, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'I'm fine. I feel great.' So that's not the issue right now. I just know when you're playing so many days in a row, a day [off] here and there won't hurt him."

Wright is the only Met to play in all 42 games this season. Collins said he will look to give both Wright and second baseman Daniel Murphy a day off later this month.

Rest also won't be on the minds of the Nationals, who are looking to win consecutive series for the first time this month. Washington will go for the series win behind right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who is coming off one of his worst outings of the season -- five runs allowed over 5 2/3 innings in Arizona.

"My misses were down the middle," Zimmermann said of that outing. "They are a good-hitting team, and they are going to make you pay for pitches you leave in the middle."

The Mets will counter with right-hander Zack Wheeler, who had the opposite problem his last time out: Wheeler couldn't find the strike zone against the Yankees, walking a career-high six batters in a no-decision.

"He just didn't have any consistent release point -- no feel for where the ball was going," Collins said. "He struggled. But he did as good as he could do, got us as far as he could."

Mets: Tejada entrenched as starting shortstop once more
Though Wilmer Flores manned shortstop for the Mets on Saturday afternoon, Collins has made it clear that the position belongs to Ruben Tejada.

The Mets called Flores up from Triple-A Las Vegas last week with plans to make him their starting shortstop. But illness knocked Flores out of the lineup shortly thereafter, and Collins was impressed enough by Tejada's plate approach to continue using him on a regular basis.

"Ruben has had some very, very good at-bats," Collins said of Tejada, who is batting .217 since Flores' promotion. "Just because the results aren't necessarily hits, he's still swung the bat very well lately, and worked the count and got on base and done the things we want him to do. And he's played outstanding defensively. He's getting to be the guy we know."

Collins admitted that the Mets may need to decide whether it is worth keeping Flores on the team if he is not going to play regularly, but deferred that issue to general manager Sandy Alderson.

Nationals: LaRoche feeling better sooner than expected
First baseman Adam LaRoche has not attempted to run since landing on the disabled list last weekend with a strained right quad. But he said he was surprised how good his leg feels while stretching.

"He hasn't been full speed yet ... but it seems to be OK," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "[The injury] has diminished somewhat and is down to one little spot kind of in the hip flexor/quad area. He was in the pool yesterday. He'll continue to do all that stuff ... so, yeah, looks good."

LaRoche went on the DL retroactive to May 10, making him eligible to return on May 25.

Worth noting
• Mets infielder Eric Campbell made the most of his rare start on Saturday, collecting singles in each of his first two at-bats -- including a two-run knock off Gio Gonzalez in the first. Campbell is 5-for-11 with three RBIs in his first five big league games.

• Nats reliever Tyler Clippard has not allowed an earned run since April 11, going 14 consecutive appearances without one. He has struck out 13 over that span and allowed eight hits.

• The Mets have allowed an opposing pitcher to hit safely in four consecutive games. Yankees pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and Chase Whitley and Nats pitchers Tanner Roark and Craig Stammen all contributed to the streak. Comments