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Castillo to join Mets in Arizona, Perez later

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Infielder Luis Castillo is expected to join the New York Mets when they open a three-game series at the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday and left-hander Oliver Perez should be close behind.

Perez, placed on the disabled list June 5 when the Mets said he had tendinitis in his right knee, could return as soon as Wednesday.

With Jose Reyes also expected back from a sore right side, the Mets will have their double-play combination intact for the first time since Castillo bruised his right heel on June 4.

Mets' manager Jerry Manuel said Reyes and Castillo would bat 1 and 2 in the order.

In the second year of a $36 million, three-year contract, Perez (6.28 ERA) lost his spot in the rotation this season and was banished to a mop-up role in the bullpen.

The team had hoped he would accept a minor league assignment, but he had the right to refuse.

Mets' manager Jerry Manuel made it clear that Perez would pitch out of the bullpen and confirmed that left-hander Hisanori Takahashi would make his scheduled start on Thursday in Los Angeles.