<
>

Duda doubles twice, average to .081

Rookie left fielder Lucas Duda nearly tripled his average Thursday with two swings of the bat.

Duda had a two-run double against Pirates starter Charlie Morton in the fourth inning to snap an 0-for-23 skid and even the score at 2. He also doubled in the sixth inning and scored the tiebreaking run on Mike Pelfrey’s RBI single as the Mets went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2, at soggy Citi Field.

With a 2-for-4 night, Duda lifted his average from .030 to .081. All three of the hits in his major league career are doubles.

The lefty-hitting Duda had been out of the starting lineup Tuesday and Wednesday, but that mostly had to do with the Pirates starting consecutive southpaws. Jerry Manuel has pledged to pretty much platoon Duda and righty-hitting Nick Evans the remainder of the season in left field. The Mets face three right-handers this weekend against the Atlanta Braves -- Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe -- so Duda should get the weekend starts.

“I kind of forgot a little bit what first base feels like over there,” Duda said. “… It just feels good to make some contact. Other than that, I’m just glad we swept. That’s the biggest thing here.”

Said Angel Pagan: “I know he’s trying real hard. I always tell him, ‘Hey they’ll come. And whenever they come, they’ll come in bunches.’ This is a game that you really have to be patient, just trust your plan, trust whatever was working for you in the minor leagues and bring it over here. Baseball is not different. It’s just a little better quality pitchers. But your plan should be the same at the plate, if it’s been successful.”