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Mets’ Jeff McNeil believes he would be a ‘heck of a cricket player’ while visiting London



LONDON — Flipping through the channels on the TV in his hotel room, Jeff McNeil watched more cricket matches than he might have anticipated before the Mets arrived in the United Kingdom last week.

The Mets second baseman got hooked.

“My wife got into it, and I got into it — I think I would be a heck of a cricket player,” McNeil said after the Mets’ 6-5 victory over the Phillies on Sunday in the London Series. “You can swing at everything, it bounces and you can put it in play anywhere, I think that would be a lot of fun.”

Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets reacts after he hits a single during the 9th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

After four straight games on the bench — all against left-handed starters — McNeil returned and delivered a 2-for-4 performance that included a single during the Mets’ three-run rally in the ninth against Jose Alvarado. Both of McNeil’s hits were against lefties.

“It felt really good to be back in there,” McNeil said.

As much as Francisco Lindor said he enjoyed participating in the London Series, the Mets shortstop would like to see adjustments to the format.

“I feel like there was too much time off,” Lindor said, noting Friday’s workout day following an off day. “I get that there’s a process of you have to sell the games and stuff like that, but to me, showing up and playing the next day would be beneficial.”

Lindor compared the event’s vibe to the All-Star Game because of the downtime.

“But during the regular season, the games do matter,” Lindor said. “And so if it was up to me, I would say fine, let’s have the experience — we [had] an amazing experience — but just show up the next day and get things done.”

Francisco Alvarez played in a rehab game for High-A Brooklyn on Sunday after returning from Venezuela, where he was attending to a family matter.

Alvarez’s quick return to New York could mean he’ll remain on schedule and be activated from the injured list on Tuesday — manager Carlos Mendoza did not rule out the possibility.

Alvarez has been on the IL since late April, when he underwent surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament.

Edwin Diaz pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance for Brooklyn and will be a possibility to rejoin the Mets for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins at Citi Field.

The right-hander has missed the last two weeks with a shoulder impingement.

Starling Marte, who lost a fly ball in right field on Saturday, was absent from the starting lineup.

But Mendoza said a decision was reached before the series to play Marte in only one game because of the turf and the effect it might have on his legs.

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