ATLANTA -- Justin Turner was back in the starting lineup Thursday following a two-day hiatus to rest his sore right thumb. Though Turner could have played if needed earlier this week, Mets manager Terry Collins preferred to treat the infielder's injury with caution.
"I just wanted to give him a couple days to get that swelling down," Collins said. "I think he's fine."
Turner, who is hitting .184 over his last 16 games after finishing May with a torrid stretch at the plate, should continue to start regularly at second and third base.
His presence at third on Thursday allowed the Mets to shift Daniel Murphy to first base and sit Lucas Duda against a left-handed starter. Collins also played Scott Hairston over Angel Pagan in center field and started Jason Bay in left field for the second consecutive day.
Pagan OK after tangle with Freeman
ATLANTA -- With a mixture of pride and relief, Angel Pagan showed off a bright red welt on the left side of his torso, just above the waist.
"If I told you I don't remember what happened, would you believe me?" Pagan said.
What happened was this: attempting to beat out an infield grounder in the eighth inning Thursday, Pagan tripped over Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman's leg and landed waist-first on the dirt beyond the bag. When Pagan remained on the ground for several moments, some Mets feared a reaggravation of the oblique injury that sidelined Pagan for five weeks earlier this season.
"He hit that ground hard," manager Terry Collins said.
Instead, Pagan simply bruised the area around his bone and needed a moment to recover from the pain. Pagan expects to be in the lineup Friday, playing center field for the club's series opener against the Angels.
"I'm fine," he said. "I just need to clean it off a little bit and I'll be ready."
Recent effort shows Parnell's found a groove
ATLANTA -- Most afternoons, Mets reliever Bobby Parnell throws a quick "touch and feel" session from the slope of a bullpen mound, in an attempt to maintain his rhythm. He still takes a dose of aspirin every day, and figures he will continue to do so for at least the rest of the season.
Otherwise, Parnell is back to normal from the circulation issue that derailed the early part of his season. He is throwing smoke again, most recently pelting the strike zone with a series of high-90s fastballs in striking out the side in the seventh inning Wednesday. He has not felt numbness in his right hand in over two weeks, allowing him to concentrate instead on fastballs and sliders.
"I'm getting back to where I need to be," Parnell said.
By most indications, he is already there. With Wednesday's two shutout innings tacked onto his line, Parnell upped his June scoreless streak to five innings in total, a run that has included nine strikeouts and just one walk. Seven of the last 12 batters he has faced have not put the ball in play.
It has been a rapid recovery for Parnell, who initially struggled to regain his velocity in the Minors following last month's stint on the disabled list.
"It's a big relief, because when I first started realizing what it was, I began to realize this could be a long-term problem," Parnell said of the issue. "Going through the process of the rehab, it took a lot longer than I thought it would to heal. To finally not have any symptoms is definitely a weight off my shoulders."
Reyes getting iron man treatment from Collins
ATLANTA -- Don't expect Jose Reyes to take a day off any time soon.
Barring injury, Reyes will play straight through to the All-Star break, Mets manager Terry Collins said Thursday. Though Collins originally planned to make Reyes take an off-day at some point before midseason, the shortstop's three-game hiatus following the death of his grandmother last month gave him enough of a built-in break.
"If I start to see fatigue, the swing start to change, then I will, certainly," Collins said.
Considering Reyes' month-long hot streak at the plate, that much doesn't seem likely.
But a rest may come eventually. Because the Mets are scheduled to play 20 consecutive games without an off-day following the All-Star break, and because Reyes is a near certainty to play in the Midsummer Classic, Collins said he may give Reyes his first routine off-day of the season at some point in late July. The shortstop entered Thursday's play having started 65 of the team's first 68 games, leading all Major Leaguers with 284 at-bats.
Major League Baseball has officially overturned a ruling from last Saturday's game in Pittsburgh, changing Andrew McCutchen's two-run triple in the fourth inning to a fielding error on third baseman Daniel Murphy. Two earned runs have been removed from R.A. Dickey's line. ... Left-hander Tim Byrdak returned to the Mets on Thursday following a one-day absence to attend a family funeral.