DENVER -- First baseman Lucas Duda made his first start of the season against a left-hander Saturday, with more likely to come. In the Rockies' Franklin Morales, the Mets faced a left-handed starter for the seventh time this season.
Manager Terry Collins noted that left-handed-hitting Curtis Granderson entered the matchup 3-for-5 with a home run against Morales, and the skipper said Duda also might match up well.
"If he's going to be the everyday first baseman, he's got to start getting in against lefties," Collins said.
Duda entered Saturday 1-for-11 (.091) with five strikeouts against left-handers this season. He has hit .219 against lefties with seven homers in 319 at-bats in his career and .257 against right-handers with 41 homers in 864 at-bats.
"Two years ago, three years ago, when he was playing every day, he faced lefties," Collins said. "He hit them as well as anybody. I think he hit about .275 because he hit the ball to left-center field, wasn't worried about pulling. That's what we've been stressing here the last few days, since he's taken over as the first baseman, is if you're going to play aginst lefties, you got to go back and be that same guy you were before. Don't worry about hitting the ball in the seats necessarily unless you get the pitch to do it. Otherwise, do damage in the other field."
Lagares grabbing hold of center-field job
DENVER -- Center fielder Juan Lagares made his third straight start Saturday since coming off the disabled list. And manager Terry Collins said Lagares, who went 4-for-9 with three doubles in the first two games of the series against the Rockies, will be in the lineup every day as opposed to being in an outfield rotation.
"He's going to be out there the majority of the time," Collins said. "He's got to be. He's showing he's the future and he's getting better at it. When he starts hitting .195, we'll have to look and get him out of there. But right now, he's getting on base, he's doing all the things you want. People don't score on him when he's got the baseball in his hands. He right now would be our everyday guy."
Collins said he would "try" to get Eric Young Jr. in the lineup Sunday. Young didn't start Saturday for the third straight day since Lagares returned from a right hamstring injury. In trying to keep Lagares from reinjuring the hamstring, Collins said he would get occasional days off.
"Even though it hasn't been necessarily a pulled muscle," Collins said, "we're probably going to give him a day off here and there."
Wright impressed by Arenado's work at third
DENVER -- Mets third baseman David Wright reached third base in the third inning Friday and said he began "messing with" Rockies counterpart Nolan Arenado. Wright took a hit away from Arenado on Friday, something Arenado did to Wright on Thursday.
"I told him, 'You start letting mine go through, I'll start letting yours go through,'" Wright said.
Arenado, 23, entered Saturday with a 22-game hitting streak and last season became the first rookie third baseman in the National League to win a Gold Glove Award. Wright, 31, won a Gold Glove in 2007 and '08, and can appreciate Arenado's defensive artistry more than most.
"It's one thing to make the routine play, which he certainly does," Wright said, "but it seems like he gets very good instinct as far as positioning himself, [for] that first step, which is obviously very important playing third base. It looks like he's quick. It looks like he's instinctive. Those are all good traits to have for a third baseman."
• Manager Terry Collins said he planned to talk to Jenrry Mejia, who started Saturday night, about the need to throw his curveball after hearing Mejia was wary of throwing the pitch in the mile-high altitude of Coors Field. Collins said a pitcher can't simply assume his curve will break at these high-altitude locations.
"You've got to really concentrate and make sure you rotate the baseball the way you're supposed to," Collins said. "So it takes a little extra focus. Don't go into it thinking, 'I can't throw my curveball.' Because you take a piece of your repertoire out and the other team will see that by the third inning, and that's just one less thing they have to look for. "
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.