ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a leadoff homer and later connected for a two-run shot as the New York Mets completed a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 on Thursday.
Jason Bay also homered and Lucas Duda drove in three runs for the Mets, who were swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees last weekend.
Johan Santana (4-3) allowed four runs and six hits over five-plus innings.
Nieuwenhuis began the afternoon with a home run off Jeremy Hellickson (4-3). He homered again during a four-run fourth, helping the Mets take an 8-4 lead. It was his first career multihomer game.
The Mets outscored Tampa Bay 29-9 in the series.