WASHINGTON (AP) -One day after Brian Lawrence squandered a four-run lead and couldn't get out of the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals, the right-hander was designated for assignment by the slumping New York Mets on Tuesday.
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 Tuesday.
Also, veteran right-hander Orlando Herndandez will wear a protective boot on his right foot for seven to 10 days.
Williams was 3-4 with a 3.96 ERA with New Orleans. In one start this year with New York, Williams is 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA.
He is expected to help out the Mets' beleaguered relief corps that has been battered during the losing streak, but could also make a spot start during the final two weeks of the regular season.
``Right now he's in the bullpen,'' general manager Omar Minaya said. ``We'll see where we are later on.''
Hernandez was hobbling around the catacombs of RFK Stadium about 90 minutes before the start of the Mets' game with the Nationals on Tuesday.
``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.''
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.

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