Carlos Beltran to bat cleanup in return from DL Thursday

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When Mets manager Jerry Manuel isn’t busy thinking of new situations to sacrifice bunt, he’s been writing “I ❤ Carlos Beltran” in his notebook. Well, after months of longing, he’ll finally be reunited with his center fielder immediately after the All-Star break in San Francisco.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Manuel intends to bat Beltran in the cleanup spot for Thursday’s second half opener. Manuel originally discussed the idea of batting Beltran third, but doesn’t want to unseat David Wright, who entered play Saturday batting .337/.426/.560 out of the No. 3 spot this season.

Rookie first baseman Ike Davis, who has occupied the cleanup spot nearly every day since late May, entered play Saturday batting just .196/.262/.339 (11-for-56) with two homers, eight RBI and an 11/5 K/BB ratio over his last 15 games.

Video: With friends and family present, Brandon Nimmo hits inside-the-park homer at Coors Field

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The Mets opened up a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field on Monday night, the last leg of their 10-game road trip. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who grew up in nearby Wyoming, got his first start in Colorado, so he bought about 75 tickets for friends and family for the series, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Batting leadoff, Nimmo fittingly led off the game by hitting an inside-the-park home run, drilling an 0-2 cutter from Tyler Anderson to right-center field. The ball didn’t take the carom that right fielder Carlos Gonzalez expected, so Nimmo circled the bases easily to complete his 11th home run of the season.

The 25-year-old Nimmo has proven to be a spark plug for the underachieving Mets. Entering play Monday, he was batting .274/.402/.565 in 204 plate appearances. Nimmo hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, helping the Mets overcome the Diamondbacks.