Tejada excited to be back contributing with Mets

NEW YORK -- Ruben Tejada had shown enough in the last few years to suggest he could be the Mets' starting shortstop for years to come. He was solid in the field and provided the team with a serviceable leadoff hitter. All of that made his struggles earlier this season so much more confounding.

He lacked his steady glove and didn't look like the line-drive hitter he used to be.

"Everybody's allowed to have a bad year. Everybody," manager Terry Collins said. "He might look at this, 2013, as Ruben Tejada's worst year. He may bounce back next year and resume where he was two years ago, and that, to me, was an up-and-coming player that brings a lot to the table."

Which version of Tejada the Mets have for the final stretch of the season remains to be seen. New York recalled the shortstop from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, and Collins said Tejada is going to be in the lineup on Wednesday.

It's been a tumultuous season so far for Tejada, but he's hoping to keep that in the past.

"The past is the past," Tejada said. "I'm here to keep going forward, and keep doing my job and keep working hard."

Before going on the disabled list on May 30 with a right quad strain, Tejada hit only .209 in 50 games with the Mets. His propensity to hit into so many flyouts and popouts sagged his on-base percentage to .267 -- down from last season's .333 -- and Collins moved him out of the leadoff spot.

When the Mets activated Tejada from the DL on July 7, they optioned him to Triple-A and didn't bring him back to the Major Leagues until Tuesday. In 60 games with Las Vegas, he hit .288 with two home runs and 24 RBIs. He was also 5-for-13 (.385) in four playoff games with the 51s.

Now Tejada's looking to become the Mets' starting shortstop again, a role Omar Quintanilla has held with Tejada in the Minor Leagues. New York, though, is going to want to see Tejada work harder on improving.

During a radio interview with WFAN last week, general manager Sandy Alderson said asking Tejada to do extra work is "like pulling teeth."

"Every GM, they try to push each player to work hard, do his job and try to get better every day," Tejada said. "That's what I think and that's what I know. I'm here to keep working hard and try to keep playing better."

Tejada has the final few weeks of the season to prove he can still be a valuable long-term shortstop for the Mets.

"He took a step backward, which can happen in our sport," Collins said. "So hopefully he rededicates himself to saying, 'I'm going to be the guy. You don't have to look any farther. I'm here.'"

Turner exits vs. Nats with tight right hamstring

WSH@NYM: Turner leaves the game with hamstring injury

NEW YORK -- Justin Turner left the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night in the seventh inning with a tight right hamstring.

Turner, who started at third base, hit a double in the bottom of the sixth inning. Matt den Dekker then singled, and Turner slowed up while rounding third base before scoring.

"Probably the fourth or fifth step around third, I felt it tighten up a little bit," Turner said.

As he walked back to the dugout, Turner grabbed the back of his right leg. Josh Satin then replaced him at third base for the top of the seventh inning.

Turner said this is the first time he's experienced a hamstring injury of any kind. The 28-year-old said he'll get an MRI on Wednesday.

"I think I'm going to go get a picture on it tomorrow and find out what exactly is going on in there," Turner said. "Hopefully, it's not too bad, and in a couple of days I'll get back out there."

Turner missed about a month this season with a left intercostal strain. He's hitting .273 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 81 games this season.

Mets to wear first responder caps pregame on 9/11

Wilpon and players visit firehouse for lunch

NEW YORK -- Before their game against the Nationals on Wednesday, the Mets will honor New York City's first responders by wearing hats representing the city's service departments during batting practice.

It's one of several tributes the Mets will be making in honor of the victims of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Players from both the Mets and Nationals will host a meet-and-greet with families from Tuesday's Children, a nonprofit organization committed to all children and individuals directly affected by the events of 9/11.

New York pitchers Dillon Gee and Tim Byrdak will also be at Cantor Fitzgerald's annual Charity Day on Wednesday, representing the 9/11 Tribute Center. Former Mets closer John Franco will also be on hand to help raise funds for Tuesday's Children.

During a pregame ceremony, a seedling from a survivor tree from the World Trade Center will be donated to three communities that have overcome tragedy. Representatives from the Rockaways, which overcame Superstorm Sandy, Prescott, Ariz., which suffered the loss of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire, and Boston, which suffered the Boston Marathon bombings, will be present at the ceremony.

Mets confirm exhibition series in Montreal vs. Jays

NEW YORK -- The Mets will play the Blue Jays in a pair of exhibition games on March 28 and 29 at Olympic Stadium, the team confirmed Tuesday.

They will be the first Major League games held at the stadium since the Expos left Montreal and moved to Washington after the 2004 season.

The Mets open their season at Citi Field on March 31 against the Nationals.

Worth noting

Scott Rice underwent surgery to repair bilateral sports hernias in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Dr. Bill Meyers performed the surgery. Rice was 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 73 appearances with the Mets.

• Alderson said Bobby Parnell, who had surgery on a herniated disk in his neck on Tuesday, will likely be ready to go by the start of Spring Training.

"We expect him to be," Alderson said.

Dr. Robert Watkins performed the procedure in California.