Hernandez to work out with boot but miss 7-10 days

WASHINGTON -- Veteran right-hander Orlando Hernandez will wear a protective boot on his right foot for seven to 10 days.

Hernandez was hobbling around the catacombs of RFK Stadium about
90 minutes before the start of the Mets' game with the Nationals on

"I feel the same. I'm not feeling good. I'm not happy," said
El Duque, who is sidelined with a bunion on his foot. "It's the
same every day."

The Mets suffered more losses on Tuesday night. They lost the game 9-8 and outfielder Moises Alou left
in the fifth
inning with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.

Alou missed more than two months this season with a strained
left quadriceps before returning in late July. The Mets, trying to
hold off Philadelphia for their second consecutive NL East title,
have been without slugger Carlos Delgado since Sept. 5 because of a
strained right hip flexor.

Alou reached on a single and slid into second base on a grounder
by Shawn Green, before rising slowly and walking off the field.
Lastings Milledge pinch-ran for Alou and stayed in to play right
field. Endy Chavez moved from right field to left field.

"My left quad hurt -- it was a little tight. It wasn't anything
to worry about," said Alou, who expects to play Wednesday. "Right
now, I'm very optimistic about it. I should be fine."

The 41-year-old Alou extended his hitting streak to 22 games
with a first-inning single, one shy of his career best.

Hernandez was scratched from Monday's start against Washington,
but he will be able to run with the boot and toss a ball off flat
ground. After Monday's game, New York general manager Omar Minaya
said that Hernandez was "day-to-day," and on Tuesday, he
reiterated that.

"He will be able to work out with the boot," Minaya said. "If
in three or four days, he feels much better, then that boot will
come off.

"Hopefully, we'll get in a situation where it's possible for
him to go out and pitch," Minaya said.

Hernandez is 9-5 with a 3.75 ERA in 24 starts.

Also Tuesday, Brian Lawrence was designated for

Lawrence started Monday night's 12-4 loss -- the fourth straight
defeat for the first-place Mets -- and allowed four runs in 3 1/3
innings after New York grabbed an early 4-0 lead. He was 1-2 this
season with the Mets with a 6.83 ERA in six starts.

To fill his roster spot, New York purchased the contract of
veteran left-hander Dave Williams from Triple-A New Orleans on

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.