NEW YORK (AP) — Lucas Duda is getting a chance to be the New York Mets' regular first baseman — and making the most of it right away.
Duda hit a pair of two-run homers Friday night in a 4-3 win over Cincinnati, hours after manager Terry Collins said Duda will get the bulk of the playing time over Ike Davis for the foreseeable future. New York started a different first baseman in each of its first three games for the first time in team history: Davis, Josh Satin and Duda.
Collins said the team needed to make a decision and it's time to find out if Duda can hold down the job.
"We all want to see if Lucas can handle it," Collins said. "We'll just see how it works out."
When healthy, Davis usually has been the starter at first base since he had 19 homers and 71 RBIs as a rookie in 2010. But he got off to miserable starts the past two seasons and was demoted to the minors last June for 3½ weeks.
"He's disappointed. He should be, because he swung the bat pretty good this spring," Collins said. "I just said, 'Hey, there comes a time, with a number of spots right now, we've got to find out some things. And we're not going to find out by alternating you every other day."
Collins was asked if he thinks Davis still has a big future with the Mets.
"Only time will tell. I have no idea. He may be the first baseman next week," the manager said. "This may work out to be great, it may not. I don't know."
Davis and Duda were supposed to compete for playing time in spring training, but both were limited to 10 games because of leg injuries.
Duda batted fifth Friday night and went deep twice against Reds right-hander Mike Leake. Duda also made a tough pick at first base and two accurate throws to second.
"Just another day," said Duda, a man of few words. "We've got two other capable first basemen. I'm just glad to play and contribute any way I can."
Collins said Davis can be a dangerous bat off the bench, though an assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas at some point so he can stay sharp is not out of the question.
"He's brought up, if there comes a time where you think you need to get at-bats, we'll sit down and discuss what our options may be. But right now he's on this team," Collins said. "Like Ike told me, he's never really been a bench player. ... It's not going to be easy for him, for sure."