Mets morning briefing 9.19.11

Ruben Tejada had four RBIs and Lucas Duda added insurance by snapping closer Craig Kimbrel's streak without allowing a homer at 48 2/3 innings with a ninth-inning solo shot as the Mets beat the Braves, 7-5, Sunday afternoon at Turner Field. The teams split the season series at nine games apiece.

Atlanta's wild-card lead was trimmed to 3½ games when coupled with St. Louis' evening win at Philadelphia.

“We’re not happy where we’re sitting with our record and everything else right now, but without the play of our young players, it’d be a lot worse, believe me,” Terry Collins said. “Those guys have played absolutely outstanding baseball all summer long, and I salute them.”

After a team golf outing Monday during an off-day, the Mets open their final road series of the season with a three-game set against the Cardinals ... with a further opportunity to impact the wild-card race.

Monday's news reports:

Tim Byrdak agreed to a one-year contract extension, through 2012. The Mets now have left-handed relievers Daniel Herrera and Byrdak under control for next season. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• The Mets' annual rookie initiation took place leaving Turner Field, with players such as Dillon Gee, Pedro Beato, Ruben Tejada and Duda required to wear blue cheerleader outfits with a Mets logo. View photos here.

Johan Santana tossed a three-inning simulated game in his Fort Myers, Fla., hometown. Afterward, Santana tweeted: "I had a good day today!!! Pitched 3 innings and feeling good!!!"

• Triple-A manager Tim Teufel, who will manage Caracas in winter ball in Venezuela, completed a stint as a coach with the Mets on Sunday. Double-A manager Wally Backman is now due to join the club as a coach.

Angel Pagan has a quadriceps issue that Collins said has impeded the center fielder's ability to patrol the outfield for the past couple of weeks. Pagan did not play Sunday, but Collins indicated he would return to the lineup for the Cardinals series. Jose Reyes similarly was given Sunday off, but ended up pinch-hitting and hitting into a fielder's choice. Collins said Reyes would start the each of the team's remaining nine games. Reyes' average dipped to .331, while Milwaukee's Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 to lift his National League-leading average to .336. Read more on Pagan and Reyes sitting in Newsday.

• Read game recaps in the Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

BIRTHDAYS: Former reliever Randy Myers turns 49. ... Hall of Famer Duke Snider, who played 129 games for the Mets in 1963 after a storied career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, was born on this date in 1926. Snider passed away earlier this year.