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C. Young returns to Mets' lineup

NEW YORK -- In his final rehab game for Triple-A Las Vegas, outfielder Chris Young scored from second base on a single, sprinting at full speed through third and evading a tag at the plate. It was just one run in a 6-3 victory, but it made Young, recovering from an injured right quadriceps, feel not only physically but mentally ready for big league action.

"That was probably the most I had to push it on my rehab stint," Young said on Friday afternoon, "and it felt good, so I'm pretty confident that it'll be good to go today."

Young returned to the lineup on Friday, batting fifth and playing center field against Braves right-hander Aaron Harang.

"The guys have been playing great," Young said of his big league teammates, "so I'm just trying to join in the party right now."

After signing a one-year, $7.25 million free-agent contract this winter, Young missed Opening Day because of his injury. He started the season's second game two days later but left after chasing a fly ball in the first inning and went on the 15-day disabled list.

"I think I made the right call, looking back on it right now," he said. "I was still able to come back at the two-week mark as opposed to knowing it wasn't right and then trying to push it and doing something worse to the point where maybe I miss a month or so."

Young went 8-for-12 with two doubles, two homers and two walks in three games in Triple-A. He said that he wasn't challenged much in the field, offering a rave review of the organization's pitching at that level.

"Our pitching in Triple-A is pretty good for us right now, so there weren't too many balls hit to deep center field or deep left field, wherever I was playing that day," he said. "[Noah] Syndergaard, [Rafael] Montero, Daisuke [Matsuzaka] -- guys like that were doing well."

Joe Lemire is a contributor to
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