Pair of hobbled Mets limping a little bit less

Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes gave the New York Mets injury updates the team was happy to receive.

The injured stars had encouraging workouts Sunday, and judging by the way manager Jerry Manuel beamed when discussing their progress it must have seemed like the first bit of good news in a couple of miserable months for the banged-up club.

Reyes and Delgado are on the disabled list along with Carlos Beltran (knee), John Maine (shoulder) and J.J. Putz (elbow surgery), and New York has fallen into a deep funk, losing 11 of 15 games and dropping four games under .500 before a 9-7 win over Cincinnati on Sunday.

In right field, under shimmering sunlight, Reyes, sidelined since May 20 with an injured right leg, performed agility drills with Manuel watching. Delgado also did agility drills, and faced a pitcher in the batting cage for the first time since having hip surgery May 19.

“It was very encouraging to watch him move as freely as he was moving and to be able to not have a noticeable limp or anything,” Manuel said of Reyes.

The shortstop and offensive catalyst had a cortisone shot in his injured right leg Tuesday and was still running with pain. Manuel, who said he learned how to identify if an athlete is favoring a leg when he helped coach his daughter’s track team, said Reyes looked much better but still was running with a limp.

There is still no timetable for Reyes’ return. Manuel said it depends on how he responds to the workout and his conditioning. After several sets of drills Sunday, Reyes put his hands on his knees to catch his breath.

Manuel liked what he heard while watching Delgado’s cage session, saying there was a “different sound,” but cautioned not to get too excited.

“It never really bothered him to hit,” Manuel said. “And I think he’s still in that same place.”

Delgado, who is not expected back until mid-August, had hip surgery similar what kept the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez out the first six weeks of the season. Delgado doesn’t want to return too soon and be forced to sit again.

“They cleaned up my hip, so it’s got to heal, develop the range of motion and strength and endurance in order to come back and play,” he said.

During the All-Star break, Reyes and Delgado will head to the Mets’ minor league complex in Florida to continue rehabbing.

Dom DiMaggio honored

The Red Sox honored Dom DiMaggio on Sunday by dedicating the center-field flagpole to him and raising a banner with his name on it just below the American flag.

The Boston center fielder and younger brother of Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio died May 8 at age 92.

His wife Emily threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the finale of Boston’s four-game series with the Kansas City Royals.

The seven-time All-Star still holds the record for the longest hitting streak in Red Sox history: 34 games in 1949. He played his entire major-league career from 1940 to 1953 with the Red Sox, with a three-season hiatus when he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

The career .298 hitter with 87 home runs was also a founder of the Boston Patriots, now the NFL’s New England Patriots.

Short hops

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Dioner Navarro, who was hit on the side of his mask by a foul tip Saturday night against Oakland, does not have a concussion and hopes to be back in the lineup after the All-Star break. … The Atlanta Braves have activated infielder Greg Norton, on the DL with a right ankle strain June 11, from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Gregor Blanco to Triple-A Gwinnett. … The Minnesota Twins are recalling second baseman Alexi Casilla from Triple-A Rochester in hopes he can provide a spark to their unbalanced offense. After being sent down to Rochester on June 11 for a wake-up call, Casilla hit .340 with two homers and 17 RBI in 40 games for the Red Wings. … Minnesota Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey had a setback with a wrist injury and will not make his scheduled start after the All-Star break. The Twins were hoping Slowey would be able to throw on Sunday to test how the wrist reacted to a cortisone shot. He wasn’t, and will instead try to throw Wednesday. … The Florida Marlins have sent Doug West to Double-A Jacksonville after the left-hander gave up five runs on nine hits in 42/3 innings in a 5-1 loss to Arizona on Saturday night. West (3-4) had a 4.91 ERA in 10 starts for the Marlins. Florida also purchased the contract of former Minnesota reliever Luis Ayala from Triple-A New Orleans and transferred right-hander Anibal Sanchez to the 60-day disabled list. He had been on the 15-day DL with a sprained shoulder since June 4.