Mets' Reyes out vs. Marlins

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was scratched from Wednesday's series finale against the Florida Marlins at Hiram Bithorn Stadium because of what the shortstop labeled discomfort on his right side.

Earlier in the day, a team spokesman indicated the discomfort was due to a stiff lower back.

"It's more on the side than the back," Reyes said after the Mets salvaged the series finale against the Florida Marlins with a 6-5 win at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Reyes said he felt "something there" while taking batting practice.

"I finished my work there and I felt like something bothered me," Reyes said. "It's a little better now. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I wanted to play today, but I have to be careful with this. We don't want to rush anything. There's still a lot of baseball left. We just have to take it easy."

As for whether he will be in the lineup on Thursday against the Washington Nationals, Reyes said: "Right now I don't want to say yes because if I wake up tomorrow and be more sore there and then say no, I'm not going to play. So let's see what happens tomorrow."

Mets officials suggested the artificial turf at Hiram Bithorn Stadium contributed to the issue, although Reyes disputed that assertion.

"I don't think it had nothing to do with that because it's more in the side," Reyes said. "It's not like it's my back. It's something in the side that hurts me to swing the bat."

Rookie Ruben Tejada, who was not in the original starting lineup, replaced Reyes at shortstop.

Reyes had issues with the playing surface in Monday's series opener at the Puerto Rico ballpark, where the Marlins shifted three home games. Unaccustomed to playing on artificial turf, Reyes found the speed difficult to adjust to and misplayed two ground balls that allowed runs to score.

Mets GM Omar Minaya watched Reyes taking groundballs on Wednesday afternoon at the stadium, but Reyes ultimately walked off the field as the Mets took batting practice clutching his right side. At one point, Reyes emerged from the visitors' clubhouse and tested the injury as trainer Ray Ramirez watched. Reyes subsequently was scratched.

Reyes, who opened the season on the disabled list because of thyroid-related issues after an injury-shortened 2009 season, is hitting .346 since May 20 to raise his average to .277. He is second in the National League with 19 steals. The Mets are 29-9 when he scores in a game.

"I wanted to play. You know what I've been through last year with injuries," Reyes said. "So I don't want to be out of the lineup. I want to be there."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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