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Mets complete three-game sweep

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- New York's Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a leadoff homer and later connected for a two-run shot as the Mets completed a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 in interleague play on Thursday.

Nieuwenhuis began the afternoon with a home run off Jeremy Hellickson (4-3). Nieuwenhuis homered again during a four-run fourth, helping the Mets take an 8-4 lead. It was his first career multihomer game.

The Mets responded well to being swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees last weekend, outscoring Tampa Bay 29-9 in this series.

New York starter Johan Santana (4-3) allowed six hits over five-plus innings.

Hellickson gave up a career-worst eight runs in 3-2/3 innings. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year is 0-3 over his past five starts.

Orioles 12, Pirates 6 In Baltimore, Steve Pearce homered and drove in a career-high five runs to lead Baltimore past Pittsburgh, completing a three-game sweep.

Matt Wieters had four hits and five RBIs for the Orioles, who built a 10-0 lead en route to their fifth straight victory. Much of the damage came against former Oriole Erik Bedard (4-7), who yielded seven runs in 3-1/3 innings.

Baltimore moved 11 games over .500 and within a half-game of the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East. The Orioles outscored Pittsburgh 27-13 in their fifth series sweep of the year, already matching their total from last season.

Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter (3-3) retired his first 12 batters but ended up allowing five runs in six innings.

Diamondbacks 11, Rangers 3 In Arlington, Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra homered in Arizona's win over AL West-leading Texas.

The Diamondbacks scored one run while losing the first two games of the series, but led for good in the finale after Kubel's two-run homer in the second off Scott Feldman (0-6).

Parra's three-run shot capped a five-run sixth.

Arizona starter Daniel Hudson (3-1) struck out a season-high seven without a walk in seven innings, only six days after the shortest start in his four major league seasons.

Reds 12, Indians 5 In Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips hit one of Cincinnati's three homers and drove in four more runs, leading the ailing Reds to their first three-game sweep of state rival Cleveland since 2008.

Phillips went 8 for 13 with two homers and seven RBIs against his former team. The Reds had a season-high 17 hits.

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Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde, right, celebrates with catcher Gerald Laird after their 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs in an interleague baseball game in Chicago, Thursday, June 14. (AP)



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