Hampson completes long road back with Mets

A 2007 file photo of Justin Hampson, then A 2007 file photo of Justin Hampson, then playing for the San Diego Padres. Photo Credit: AP

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CHICAGO -- It was the eighth inning of a one-sided game. But to newest Met Justin Hampson, it was like the seventh game of the World Series.

Hampson, a 32-year-old lefthander, made his Mets debut with a scoreless inning in Monday night's 6-1 loss to the Cubs. That completed a four-year journey since his last big-league appearance when he was with San Diego. Hampson also pitched a third of an inning Tuesday night, giving up two hits and one run.

Hampson had shoulder surgery in 2009 and spent part of 2010 with the Ducks. He made four appearances for the Ducks before he had to shut it down with shoulder problems.

"I had a great time there," Hampson said Tuesday before the Mets' 5-3 loss. "I wish I would have not had the shoulder flare up and had a longer experience there. It was a good time. Buddy Harrelson was there. It was surreal to see him. Dave LaPoint was the manager there. It was cool. The crowd was -- they really pack it in there. It's a cool stadium and a good experience. First time I'd been in the New York area."

If he sticks through the end of this road trip, Hampson will have his second New York experience next week. Queens, this time.

Hampson appeared in 79 games for the Rockies and Padres from 2006-08, going 5-4 with a 3.37 ERA. He was called up late Sunday night to join Tim Byrdak and give Terry Collins two lefties in the bullpen.

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Wright stuff

David Wright leads Pablo Sandoval of the Giants for the NL All-Star Game starting third baseman nod by more than 460,000 votes. Voting ends Thursday and the teams will be announced Sunday.

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