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Young leads Mets past his former team

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets won the opening game of their six-game homestand thanks to an unexpected power display from Eric Young.

On Tuesday, Young lifted the Mets to their second win on the homestand thanks to the type of contributions with which he's most often associated.

Young made a diving catch to save at least two runs in the sixth inning and he scored the winning run by racing home from second on Juan Lagares' infield single in the eighth inning of the Mets' 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies in front of 27,198 at Citi Field.

The Mets acquired Young from the Rockies on June 18, six days after he was designated for assignment by Colorado. The Mets were 27-40 prior to Young's arrival but are 23-20 with him.

Young has stabilized the leadoff spot -- he's hitting .270 with one homer (a two-run, walk-off shot in the 11th inning against the Royals last Friday night), 25 runs scored and 15 stolen bases -- and has helped turn the outfield defense into one of the best in the league with spectacular diving catches such as the one he made Tuesday.

"I can't emphasize enough the job that he's done since he's been here," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's gotten on base when we needed him to. He scores runs like that. He's played great in the outfield."

Young admitted to feeling an extra bit of satisfaction in doing all of that on Tuesday against his former team.

"Felt good against those guys," said Young, who was drafted by the Rockies in 2003. "There's no hard feelings. I'm more appreciative that they made the move they did, because I wouldn't be in this situation if they didn't. But it was good being able to showcase that."

Young began the winning rally by leading off the eighth with a single off Wilton Lopez (1-4). Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd each flied out, with Young taking second on Byrd's out.

After an intentional walk to Davis, Lagares hit a 2-2 pitch beyond the grasp of Lopez and into the no man's land between the pitcher's mound, first base and second base.

Second baseman DJ LeMahieu charged and threw to first, but Lagares beat the throw by a step. Young never slowed down rounding third and hit another gear as he raced home.

He slid in well ahead of the throw from Todd Helton and punctuated his slide by leaping into the air.

"If (Helton) doesn't make the perfect throw, I'm in there," Young said. "If he does make the perfect throw, you tip your cap. Caught 'em sleeping a little bit."

The winning hit capped an impressive night for Lagares, who opened the game with a two-run triple in the first inning. He said he didn't expect to turn around and see Young racing home on the last play.

"I never thought he would have scored on that play," Lagares said. "It's amazing. That's a good play for him."

Scott Atchison (2-0) earned the win by working around a leadoff walk in the eighth. LaTroy Hawkins gave up two two-out singles but earned his first save after retiring pinch-hitter Yorvit Torrealba on a lineout to first. Mets closer Bobby Parnell was placed on the DL earlier in the day.

Ike Davis reached base in all four plate appearances via two doubles and two walks (one intentional) for the Mets, who snapped a two-game losing streak. They haven't lost three straight since June 13-15.

Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores, who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day and made his major league debut on his 22nd birthday, went 0-for-4 with an error.

Nolan Arenado had a sacrifice fly in the fifth while Charlie Blackmon delivered a pinch-hit homer in the sixth for the Rockies (52-62), who lost their third in a row and for the seventh time in their last eight games overall.

The Rockies had a chance to take the lead later in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out and chased Mets starter Jenrry Mejia, but Carlos Torres got Wilin Rosario to fly out to shallow center field before Young made a diving catch of Helton's sinking liner.

"He's got game-changing speed, and it got them a win tonight," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Young.

Mejia allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.

Chad Bettis, who made the emergency start for the Rockies after Tyler Chatwood was scratched because of left hamstring tightness, allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out two over five innings.

NOTES: The Mets placed Parnell on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 31, with a herniated disk in his neck. He had an epidural on Monday and general manager Sandy Alderson said surgery could be an option if the epidural doesn't work. Collins said the Mets will utilize a closer by committee with Parnell out. ... Flores became the second Mets player to make his big league debut on his birthday. RHP John Pacella turned 21 on Sept. 15, 1977, when he pitched two innings against the Phillies. ... Weiss said he hoped Chatwood could start the series finale on Thursday. ... LF Carlos Gonzalez (sprained right middle finger) didn't start but was available off the bench. Gonzalez has been battling the injury for a month and aggravated it again Sunday against the Pirates. Weiss said the Rockies will decide soon whether to place Gonzalez on the disabled list.

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