Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/2/12

SAN FRANCISCO -- The New York Mets won their first series since the All-Star Break, routing the San Francisco Giants 9-1 on Thursday afternoon to take three of four in the series at AT&T Park.

The Giants may have landed the bat they wanted at the trade deadline in Hunter Pence, but a pitching staff that struggled during a 3-7 homestand was at its worst on Thursday.

"We've been awful here this past week," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "How we press on through these tough times will determine our season. We're in a rut right now. We're not swinging the bats; our pitching isn't quite that sharp."

For Barry Zito (8-8), who heard boos as he exited the game in the fifth inning, the trouble started when he couldn't put the Mets away in the first inning.

With two outs and nobody on, David Wright and Scott Hairston walked. Then Zito hit Daniel Murphy in the hand to load the bases. Jason Bay hit a single to drive in two, and Ronny Cedeno drove a liner to left that bounced off the top of Melky Cabrera's glove, driving in two more to give New York an early 4-0 advantage.

The Mets added another run when a single by Wright drove in Andres Torres in the second inning. After Zito got into trouble again in the fifth, he was removed in favor of recent callup Shane Loux.

Zito allowed 7 earned runs over 4 1/3 innings.

"My timing was off, so my command was erratic today. At times it was there, but at times the ball was up in the zone and I wasn't commanding the off-speed like I usually am," Zito said.

Cedeno led the way offensively for the Mets, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBIs. Daniel Murphy chipped in with two hits, and Hairston scored three runs.

"I think (Cedeno's) having as good an offensive year as he ever has," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "When Ruben (Tejada) came back, playing time's been at a premium for him. When he gets it, he's made the most of it."

Pence drove in the Giants' only run with a sacrifice fly after Cabrera hit a triple to lead off the fourth inning. Cabrera finished a home run short of the cycle, collecting three of the Giants' four hits.

Mets starter Chris Young (3-5) displayed excellent command, walking none over seven innings. Young notched his first win since June 28 against the Dodgers.

"The guys coming out and swinging the bats gave me so much room for error," Young said. "It was nice to be able to be aggressive."

The Dodgers were idle Thursday, which means the Giants hold onto a half-game lead in the National League West. The surging Arizona Diamondbacks are two games back. They start a three-game series in Colorado Friday night.

"You have to regroup here, and hopefully that's what's going to happen here on the road as we go to Colorado. There's no question we need to pick up the energy, everything," Bochy said.

"We're fortunate to be in first place, but we need to start carrying ourselves like it and pick it up here."

The Mets will head to San Diego for a weekend series to cap an 11-game road trip.

"To come in and face a good team and win three of four like we did, it was a good series for us," Young said. "Hopefully we can build on it and get back on track and make a push here."

Notes: The Mets got revenge against the Giants, who won three out of four in New York on April 20-23 ... Giants catcher Hector Sanchez played for the first time since coming off the 15-day DL, giving Buster Posey a day off. He went 0-for-4 ... In July, Young went 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts ... Thursday marked the second time Zito has allowed seven or more earned runs this season -- he allowed eight in 3 1/3 innings on June 19 in Anaheim ... Bay now has nine RBIs on the season ... The Mets went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-13 with RISP the night before ... The Giants had their first losing homestand since finishing 4-5 against the Padres, Marlins and Brewers from April 27 through May 6.

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