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Tejada stays focused on the task at hand

He is the heir apparent to Jose Reyes, the starting shortstop for the New York Mets, but right now, Ruben Tejada is focused on what he can do for the Buffalo Bisons.

The 21-year old Tejada had two hits and drove in a pair of runs Saturday in the Herd's 7-5 loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Field. Batting .283, he has 10 RBIs on the season and is one of the bright spots on the Herd's roster.

It's not just his offense, Tejada has the ability to make some impressive plays in the field, helping the Herd get out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, despite being charged with one error in the game.

"He's a quality player, provides a lot of energy out there," Bisons manager Tim Teufel said. "He's already made some really nice plays this season and I'm sure he's going to continue to do that. To have a potential big-league shortstop playing for you right now is a nice convenience."

Tejada, who made the Mets' Opening Day roster last season, said he learned plenty from his time with the big club, but is focused on his daily work.

"I concentrate on my work. I play hard every day," Tejada said. "You never know what will happen tomorrow. I have no control over that. Last year [78 games with the Mets] was a great experience that helped me a lot. I think this year I'm more ready for this level."

It's an attitude that has helped keep Tejada steady and consistent as the Bisons struggle through the opening month of the season.

"He's concentrating day to day," Teufel said. "I don't think he's looking too far in the future. He has his hands full here. He has to play shortstop every night out here and also swing the bat. So he has a job to do here and I don't think he's looking too far ahead."

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In his first game back from the disabled list, Fernando Martinez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh as a pinch hitter.

Martinez was activated after missing 10 games with a right hamstring pull. He had four hits on Opening Day this year and entered the game with a .313 batting average in his first four games this year.

Meanwhile, infielder Zach Lutz was placed on the disabled list before Saturday's game with a right hamstring strain.

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With a double in the first inning, Kirk Nieuwenhuis extended his hitting streak to 13 games -- the longest for the Herd in two seasons. Last year, the longest streak for a Herd batter was 12, achieved by Jesus Feliciano and Jorge Padilla. In 2009, Wily Mo Pena had a 13-game hit streak while Javier Castillo had a 16-game streak that season.

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The nicest weather of the homestand appeared Saturday afternoon, with sunshine and temperatures in the 60s, though a strong wind kept it cool. There were a few hundred people in the stands. The announced attendance was 4,581.

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The series continues at 1:05 p.m. today with righty Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 0.98 ERA) scheduled to start for the Herd against righty Vance Worley (1-2, 2.55). The game will feature an appearance by the Easter Bunny and a pre-game Easter Egg Hunt. The Family Fun Sunday promotion also includes an opportunity for kids to run the bases after the game.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com