- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Curtis Granderson was out of the lineup with a sore left calf Thursday night, leaving the slumping New York Mets without their cleanup hitter.

Granderson has been one of the few productive bats in the lineup lately, reaching base safely in 23 consecutive games. He was replaced in the outfield by Andrew Brown against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Granderson said his calf began to bother him a little bit Wednesday, though he went 2 for 3 with a double and played the entire game. He said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious and he hopes to start Friday night against San Diego.

“Still barking a little bit, so better to be safe than sorry and take a day here. Heard a lot of stories of guys trying to push through it and the reward isn’t necessarily worth it,” Granderson said. “I didn’t feel anything negative. No pops, no snaps, no grabs, nothing like that. More just an annoyance and soreness right now.”


The three-time All-Star took batting practice and said he should be available to pinch-hit.

The Mets were missing all three starting outfielders because of injuries. Center fielder Juan Lagares (ribcage) and left fielder Eric Young Jr. (strained right hamstring) are on the disabled list.

Brown played left field, with struggling Chris Young in center and 40-year-old Bobby Abreu in right. Daniel Murphy batted leadoff for the first time since May 26, 2013, according to STATS.

Mets manager Terry Collins said it’s possible Murphy could become a fixture in the leadoff spot after batting second most of the season.

Collins was asked if juggling the lineup makes much of a difference.

“So far it hasn’t,” he said. “You’ve got to try something.”

Ranked near the bottom of the National League in home runs and slugging, New York had lost seven of eight while going 9 for 64 (.141) with runners in scoring position during that stretch.

Granderson got off to a miserable start in his first season with the Mets after signing a $60 million, four-year contract. But he’s come on lately and lifted his on-base percentage to .336 with eight homers and 30 RBIs.

He is 8 for 17 with two homers against Kyle Lohse, the Milwaukee starter.

“I don’t think any time is better,” Granderson said. “Whenever you do have to miss a game for something you can’t control, it’s always going to be considered bad timing.”

Young, sidelined since May 25, began a rehab assignment at Class-A St. Lucie. He went 1 for 4 with a walk and scored twice.

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