Mets hitting pitcher eighth for first time in team history

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The Mets will enter play tonight ranked 23rd in the majors in runs scored, so manager Terry Collins has decided to do something a little different with his lineup. In fact, it’s so different, it’s never been done in team history until tonight:

That’s right. The Mets will bat their starting pitcher, rookie right-hander Jacob deGrom, eighth tonight against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Eric Young, Jr. will bat ninth in his return from the disabled list.

Collins told Joel Sherman of the New York Post back in March that was thinking about hitting the pitcher eighth, but he hasn’t done so until now. The idea is to present more RBI opportunities to the players at the top of the lineup, which makes sense considering that Curtis Granderson is batting leadoff for the second straight day and Daniel Murphy is hitting second. Those two have been the Mets’ best hitters of late. It’s worth a shot as they try to scrape more runs across the board.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.