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Jason Bay ignites Mets' offensive explosion in rout of Giants

Jason Bay hits a two-RBI single against the

Jason Bay hits a two-RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning. (Aug. 2, 2012) Credit: AP

SAN FRANCISCO -- Terry Collins has said more than once that Jason Bay could be the "big righthanded bat" the Mets have been seeking.

Usually, that sounds like wishful thinking. On Thursday, though, Bay was at least a run-producer. His two-out, two-run single in the first inning kick-started the Mets to a 9-1 win over the Giants in the series finale at AT&T Park.

Chris Young pitched seven innings and Ronny Cedeño drove in five runs for the Mets, who took three of four in the series.

The Mets (52-54), who have won four of five, are 5-3 on the 11-game, three-city road trip that concludes this weekend in San Diego. They scored eight runs with two outs, which was a signature of their success before the All-Star break.

"This is the same team that went on this massive skid [14 of 16]," Bay said. "Comes in here and takes three out of four from a first-place team. That's the frustration with us. It's there sometimes and then it's not other times. It's definitely better than the way things were going."

The first two runs scored on Bay's bases-loaded single over the head of shortstop Brandon Crawford. It was Bay's third hit in 32 tries with runners in scoring position and gave him 10 RBIs for the season.

It led to two more runs when Cedeño -- who has eight RBIs in his last two starts -- doubled off the glove of Giants leftfielder Melky Cabrera.

Bay (1-for-4, walk) was hitless in his next three at-bats, including two more with runners in scoring position. He is batting .160 overall. But he's had only 125 at-bats, and the Mets have not abandoned hope that he can turn it around if they keep putting him in the lineup.

"Obviously, it's great," said Bay, who had seven putouts in left while dealing with a hellacious sun field. "I'm just kind of battling and moving forward. Going out there and still playing. Obviously, the way things have gone, it felt good, especially the first inning, kind of getting going a little bit. It's a day-to-day constant battle. A grind."

Young (3-5) allowed four hits and one run in his first victory since June 28. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four. "The guys coming out and swinging the bats just gave me some room for error," he said. "It was nice."

Giants starter Barry Zito (8-8) gave up seven runs in 41/3 innings.

Bay got his opportunity in the first inning after Zito issued two-out walks to David Wright and Scott Hairston and hit Daniel Murphy with a 2-and-2 pitch. Bay's hit was his sixth in 47 at-bats since coming off the disabled list July 17.

The Mets made it 5-0 in the second when Andres Torres doubled with two outs and scored on Wright's single to left.

The Giants got on the board when Cabrera (3-for-4) tripled to open the fourth and scored on Hunter Pence's sacrifice fly.

The Mets knocked out Zito in the fifth and expanded their lead to 7-1. Murphy had an RBI single to finish off Zito and Cedeño drove in a run with a two-out single off Shane Loux.

Cedeño (3-for-4) doubled home two more in the seventh off Loux. It was his second five-RBI day; the first was on April 27, 2008, for the Cubs against the Mets.

"I think he's having as good an offensive year as he's ever had," Collins said. "He's done a good job because he hasn't played a lot."

Cedeño started at second base with Murphy at first as Collins rested Ike Davis, who is 1-for-17 with nine strikeouts since his three-homer game in Arizona on Saturday. Davis grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.

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