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St. Petersburg, Fla. - Chris Young settled down after a shaky first inning to get his first win in more than a year and the New York Mets beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-2 on Tuesday night.
Young allowed nine hits over 5 2-3 innings, walked two and struck out four in his second major league outing since returning from shoulder surgery that sidelined him most of last season. The right-hander won for the first time since beating Philadelphia 7-1 on April 5, 2011 - his first start in a Mets uniform.
Rookie Jordany Valdespin drove in a career-high four runs, three of them with a pair of two-out hits. The Mets, swept last weekend by the crosstown rival Yankees, have scored a major league-leading 134 runs with two outs - nine of them in their first appearance at Tropicana Field in 11 years.
Young yielded a bases-loaded single to Hideki Matsui and a sacrifice fly to Will Rhymes in the first. The right-hander, who launched his comeback by allowing three runs and six hits in five innings of a no-decision against Washington on June 5, worked out of tight spots in the next two innings to keep the Mets close.
Valdespin's two-run single off Alex Cobb (2-3) put New York ahead 3-2 in the fifth. His two-out RBI double was the first big blow in the Mets' six-run seventh.
Daniel Murphy followed with a two-run single that made it 6-2. Ike Davis finished the Rays off with a three-run homer off reliever J.P. Howell.
Cobb, losing his third straight start after winning the first two following his promotion from Triple-A Durham, allowed six runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.
The Mets' struggles with runners in scoring position continued. After going 5 for 18 in such situations while being swept by the Yankees, New York was 0 for 4 in the first two innings against Cobb. The first run scored against the Tampa Bay starter raced home on shortstop Elliot Johnson's fielding error.
The Rays weren't much better early, going 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the first three innings. Only one run scored when Matsui lined a pitch off the right-field wall with the bases loaded in the first, and Young worked out of a jam in the second by striking out Rhymes and Jose Molina after giving up singles to B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce to begin the inning.