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Carlos Beltran to bat cleanup in return from DL Thursday

Jul 10, 2010, 5:46 PM EST

When Mets manager Jerry Manuel isn’t busy thinking of new situations to sacrifice bunt, he’s been writing “I <3 Carlos Beltran” in his notebook. Well, after months of longing, he’ll finally be reunited with his center fielder immediately after the All-Star break in San Francisco.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Manuel intends to bat Beltran in the cleanup spot for Thursday’s second half opener. Manuel originally discussed the idea of batting Beltran third, but doesn’t want to unseat David Wright, who entered play Saturday batting .337/.426/.560 out of the No. 3 spot this season.

Rookie first baseman Ike Davis, who has occupied the cleanup spot nearly every day since late May, entered play Saturday batting just .196/.262/.339 (11-for-56) with two homers, eight RBI and an 11/5 K/BB ratio over his last 15 games.

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