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Delmon adjusts quickly at plate, in clubhouse

ANAHEIM -- Tuesday night, Delmon Young made his first start with the Rays since Sept. 29, 2007, prior to his trade to the Twins on Nov. 28, 2007.

The Rays signed the 27-year-old to a Minor League contract on Aug. 22. After a stint at Double-A Montgomery to sharpen up his timing against live pitching, Young joined the team on Sunday. Young went 2-for-5 Tuesday night, making him 3-for-8 since joining the team.

Prior to playing Sunday against Oakland, Young's last Major League game was Aug. 8, when he suited up for the Phillies against the Cubs. Young downplayed the work he had to do to get ready to play again.

"I had already been playing all year, so it wasn't like I was going into the beginning of the season without playing," Young said. "I just had to do a couple of simple things and then repeat them."

Young smiled when asked how being back with his old team has been thus far.

"It's pretty awesome," Young said. "Especially how laid back it is. This is how baseball teams should be: very loose and able to be yourself, and enjoy yourself while you're in the clubhouse."

And to be making a contribution so quickly as he did in Tuesday night's win?

"Just to get a win," Young said. "You don't want to go into Sept. 1 with a playoff spot and Sept. 29 without one. It was nice to get a win, because the teams trailing us and the teams in front of us, they're winning. So we need to keep winning and try to gain as much ground as we can on Boston before the big series at home."

Rays manager Joe Maddon called Young a "pleasure" when asked about having him back in his clubhouse.

"So far, among the guys inside, he's been great," Maddon said. "You can tell there's a difference in the maturity level in how he goes about his business. It's been very easy having him back."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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