The Mets apparently brought their big bats to Tampa, completing a sweep of the Rays Thursday afternoon with yet another offensive show of force.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis got things started early, leading off the game with a home run for the 1-0 lead.
Jason Bay made it 2-0 in the second with a solo homer of his own, a towering shot into the left field seats.
However the Rays took the lead in the bottom of the inning against Johan Santana — with two on Matt Joyce doubled to plate two runs. Elliott Johnson later singled in Joyce to make it 3-2 Rays.
The Mets regained the lead in the third. Jordany Valdespin singled and David Wright followed that with a double to leave runners on second and third. Lucas Duda hit a sacrifice fly that scored Valdespin to tie the game, and then Ike Davis singled to score Wright. 4-3 Mets.
But in the bottom of the third more shoddy defense by the Mets allowed the Rays to tie the score. B.J. Upton tried to steal second, but Santana had him picked off. Davis threw wildly and Upton made it to second. No error on Davis, but he should have thrown him out. Upton then came around to score on a Ben Zobrist double.
The Mets barrage continued in the fourth — with a man on, Nieuwenhuis hit his second home run on the day, an opposite field job to give the Mets a 6-4 lead. Valdespin was then hit by a pitch and stole second. Wright walked and Duda laced a double off the wall in center to score two more as the Mets extended their lead to 8-4. Once again the Mets did all of this with two outs.
Santana pitched his second subpar game since the no-hitter. He was pulled in the sixth inning after loading the bases with no outs. An impressive Jon Rauch was able to prevent those runners from scoring, striking out two and getting a groundout, leaving Santana with a linescore of five innings pitched, four runs, four walks and six strikeouts.
Davis added an RBI single in the ninth and the Rays made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs and loading the bases with two outs, but Frank Francisco was able to strike out Zobrist to end the game.
Mets win 9-6. This series was an offensive juggernaut for them, scoring 11, nine and nine runs in the three game sweep.