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Mejia exits start due to blister on middle finger

PHOENIX -- Mets starter Jenrry Mejia left Tuesday's 9-0 win against the D-backs after five innings with what manager Terry Collins termed "a hell of a blister" on his right middle finger, but he expects to make his next start.

Mejia, who has pitched through multiple minor ailments -- most notably a bunion on his right foot -- since the end of Spring Training, was enjoying a nine-run lead and his best outing of the season before the blister burst, forcing him to leave after 77 pitches.

"He tore it up completely," Collins said. "His middle finger completely ripped open. I would say it's a concern."

Mejia indicated that the problem first arose during his last start in Atlanta, but that he kept pitching without major issue. He felt the blister again while warming up before Tuesday's start, but it did not burst until the fourth inning.

Add that to a growing list of maladies for Mejia so far this season, including his bunion and a comebacker that struck his right ankle during an exhibition game in Montreal. Though Mejia has managed to avoid the major shoulder and elbow issues that once derailed his career, minor ailments have affected him throughout the young season.

"It's a little bit frustrating because I want to keep pitching," Mejia said. "But there's nothing I can do. It happened."

Mejia did not allow a run in five innings against the D-backs, lowering his ERA to 2.81. If he is unable to make his next start, Daisuke Matsuzaka -- whom Mejia beat out for a rotation spot this spring -- is pitching well at Triple-A Las Vegas, with a 2.25 ERA in two outings. The Mets could also easily slide reliever Carlos Torres into the rotation for a spot start.

But Mejia showed off his blister after the game without concern, saying he is confident the Mets' training staff will have him back in game shape before next Monday.

"I don't worry because the trainer's going to work on it, and I'm going to work on it, and I think I'll be ready for my next start," Mejia said.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.
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