Mets start Torres over hot-hitting Hairston in center

Mets start Torres over hot-hitting Hairston in center

Mets start Torres over hot-hitting Hairston in center
MIAMI -- Marlins Park may be considered a pitcher-friendly stadium, but the Mets took an extra measure to try to help righty R.A. Dickey get a step closer to his goal of a 20-win season on Friday night.

New York started Andres Torres in center field instead of the hot-hitting Scott Hairston in an effort to shore up the team's defense against National League East rival Miami.

"As well as Scotty has been swinging the bat, this is a place where we need to catch the ball," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Hairston is hitting .330 over his last 31 games dating back to July 20, while Torres is hitting just .264 since the All-Star break. Despite that, the Mets felt the need for more speed to track down fly balls in the cavernous outfield at Marlins Park.

"We're sitting here with R.A. pitching, knowing the kind of field we're playing on, so we know the importance of playing defense here," Collins said. "This park is so big, the outfield is so big here, we want to make sure we've got the defensive team out there to make sure we're putting [Dickey] in a good opportunity to win a game."