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 <3 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.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.