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Mets’ Eduardo Escobar making case to play more against righties

Here is another thing for Buck Showalter to consider in his lineup construction, as Eduardo Escobar gave a reminder Tuesday that he, too, is worthy of playing time in a third-base mix that has gotten crowded for the Mets.

Escobar, who hit at the bottom of the order in a 2-0 victory over the Phillies, gave that reminder in the form of a dinky single off Connor Brogdon in the seventh inning, which scored an insurance run.

He was one of two Mets — the other being Starling Marte — to come up with multiple hits in the game, which sped by in two hours and 20 minutes as neither side could come up with much offense.

It was not the most emphatic of RBIs, but Escobar, a switch hitter, is now six-for-his-last-14 against right-handed pitching, dating back to May 14, with a walk mixed in for good measure.

Eduardo Escobar hits an RBI single during the seventh inning of the Mets' 2-0 win over the Phillies.
Jason Szenes for The Ne

“He’s been very quietly swinging the bat similar to what he did last August and September,” Showalter said pregame. “He got player of the month in the National League, people seem to forget that — there wasn’t a better player in the league than him for a month. So he’s capable.

“He’s approached every at-bat trying to prove a little, just a reminder he’s been a good player in the big leagues for a long time.”

Escobar’s at-bat in the seventh, with Marte and Tommy Pham on base, was a chance for Showalter to pinch-hit Brett Baty, who sat Tuesday as a product of Escobar and Mark Vientos being in against lefty Ranger Suarez.

Showalter declined.

“Esky’s been swinging the bat well. We think he’s a good defender,” he said. “That time of the game, I knew that I would use Brett [for left fielder Tommy] Pham if they got back in the game, because we can move Jeff [McNeil] to left field and put Esky at second. He’s been our most versatile piece there and with a lead, I’m not gonna take that out of the game.”

If Escobar, who had a 1.024 OPS in May coming into Tuesday, is in the lineup as a matter of course against righties, then that is a roadblock for Baty or Vientos to get playing time.

But if he is hitting like this, then that is a trade-off Showalter and the Mets will continue to make.

“I’m super happy for him,” Francisco Lindor said. “He works extremely hard day in and day out, he does what he has to do to put himself in a great position. I couldn’t be happier for him.”