Manuel confident that Beltran will connect

Manuel confident that Beltran will connect

PHILADELPHIA -- It may seem like the same old story, but the Mets continue to stress the notion that Carlos Beltran will eventually hit.

After finishing 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts in Saturday's victory over the Phillies, Beltran raised his average, to .205, in 73 at-bats since returning from the disabled list.

"I think he is trying to find his way," manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's where he is now, trying to figure out how to get that bat on the correct swing path in order to get hits. I believe he's going to figure it out, I really do."

Though Manuel indicated after Saturday's game that he would probably bench the center fielder for Sunday's finale, Beltran lobbied his case and earned the start.

"We checked with him last night, and he said the same things he said the other day," Manuel said. "'We need to win. I feel good. I want to play. I need to push it. I love to be out there. We need to win games, and I feel like I can be a big part of that.' "