Bay strained a rib cage muscle two days before the Mets broke spring training camp and opened the season on the DL. He started in left field and batted fifth in the Mets' 9-1 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday. Bay went 1-for-4 with a ground-rule double and scored two runs, including on a rare four-base error by Hunter Pence after hitting a fly ball to right field.
"Obviously having Jason Bay back -- to pull these guys together is one of the best things that could happen," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "I think his presence in the clubhouse, in the dugout, and on the field is a big factor."
He had not appeared in a major league game since July 25, 2010, at Dodger Stadium, when he was shut down for the remainder of the season with a concussion.
Parnell complained of numbness in his right middle finger and underwent an angiogram Thursday.
General manager Sandy Alderson said doctors are satisfied there is no serious risk, such as an aneurysm. Instead, doctors believe Parnell has local clotting in his finger and that aspirin will thin the blood and resolve the issue.
"I think the results of the angiogram are as positive as we could have hoped," Alderson said.
Bay gives the 6-13 club a much-needed offensive infusion as well as protection for David Wright and Carlos Beltran. Before Thursday he had played only 95 games as a Met since signing a four-year, $66 million deal before the 2010 season.
"The last week and a half of the spring, I felt great," Bay said before the game. "I was putting a lot of things together. And then the impeccable timing of two days before the season starts. You have the whole end of the season, the whole offseason to get excited about getting back out there. And then to get derailed two days before, it was demoralizing for a couple of days. Then you realize what's done is done and you get over it and you get back out there. I'm just happy to be standing right here, right now."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.