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Cuddyer helping fill gap with captain Wright out

Left fielder extends hitting streak to six games

NEW YORK -- The Mets have won six in a row for the first time in four years, and the play of Michael Cuddyer recently is a large reason.

His run-scoring single in the sixth inning of Friday's 4-1 victory against the Marlins at Citi Field extended his hitting streak to six games, and he is batting 9-for-21 with six RBIs during that stretch.

Cuddyer's importance to the Mets' lineup is magnified while third baseman David Wright recovers from a right hamstring strain. Cuddyer said he has learned throughout his career the importance of not putting more pressure on himself to perform to try and make up for Wright's absence.

"Any time you try and do better than you are or do more than you're capable of, that's when you struggle," Cuddyer said. "You got to go and just play your game, play the game, and everybody is doing that. Everybody has confidence in the guy next to him to get the job done, and what that does is alleviate the pressure you put on yourself."

A few innings before Wright left Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury, Cuddyer exited the game after being struck on the left hand with a fastball, fearing his hand was broken. X-rays came back negative, and Cuddyer has not had to miss any time, saying after Friday's game that his hand felt fine.

It was good news for the Mets, who have not skipped a beat without their captain so far, thanks in part to the stabilizing presence of Cuddyer.

"He plays the game like you're supposed to play," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's a professional. He knows what he's got to do in certain situations."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
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