The New York Mets beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 to complete a three-game sweep, as Johan Santana struggled for the second consecutive start since throwing the franchise’s first no-hitter.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit two home runs and drove in three runs, helping New York to its third victory in a row at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jason Bay added a home run, his first since coming off the disabled list June 6, as he Mets outscored the Rays 29-9 in the Major League Baseball interleague series.
Santana allowed six hits, four walks and four earned runs before leaving with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning. Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell, and Tim Byrdak and combined for three scoreless innings before Miguel Batista and Frank Francisco allowed two runs in the ninth.
Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1. A week later, the left-hander gave up six earned runs in five innings in a loss to the New York Yankees. He is now 4-3 on the season after today’s win.
The Mets broke a 4-4 tie in the fourth inning on a two-run home run from Nieuwenhuis and two-run double by Lucas Duda. New York led 1-0, 2-0 and 4-3 before taking the lead for good in the fourth.
The Mets (35-29) are now alone in second place in the National League East division, 4 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals.