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Mets Vs. Rays Final Score: Kirk Nieuwenhuis Blasts Two Homers In New York's 9-6 Win

The New York Mets defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-6, in Game 3 on Thursday of the teams' series at Tropicana Field.

The Mets did not wait long to take a lead when Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a solo home run in the first inning. New York doubled its lead with a Jason Bay solo shot in the second, but the Rays would take the lead in the bottom of the second on a Matt Joyce two-RBI double and Elliot Johnson's RBI single. Lucas Duda tied the game at three with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. An Ike Davis RBI single in the third inning helped the Mets reclaim the lead. Ben Zobrist drove in a run with a single in the bottom of the third inning to knot the game up again. The Mets would put the game away in the fifth with a four-run outburst. Nieuwenhuis hit a two-run homer and Duda had a two-RBI double. Davis added another insurance run in the ninth inning with an RBI single. The Rays got that run back in the bottom of the ninth on a Desmond Jennings RBI single. Tampa Bay also got one more run on a fielder's choice.

Johan Santana got the start for New York and went five innings in the win, giving up six hits, four runs (all earned) and four walks while striking out six batters. Jeremy Hellickson started for the Rays but was chased after just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up eight earned runs on nine hits and a walk. After Santana left in the sixth inning, the Mets got one scoreless of inning of relief apiece from Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak. Miguel Batista got one out and gave up two earned runs in the ninth. Frank Francisco came on after Batista and got the final two outs via strikeouts and walked one. Francisco picked up his 16th save in the process.

The Mets (35-29) will begin their next series against the Cincinnati Reds (35-27) on Friday at Citi Field.

Final - 6.14.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
New York Mets 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 1 9
Tampa Bay Rays 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 6

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