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Mets Hammer Defending AL Champs

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New York Mets' Carlos Beltran scores on a Daniel Murphy single as Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba waits for the throw in the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Saturday, June 25, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran scores on a Daniel Murphy single as Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba waits for the throw in the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Saturday, June 25, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Lucas Duda matched a Mets record with
three doubles while going 4 for 5 with four RBIs, Carlos Beltran
snapped out of a slump with three hits and New York had season
highs for runs and hits in a 14-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on
Saturday.

The Mets led 3-0 after four batters against Alexi Ogando (7-3),
who lost his third consecutive start without making it past the
fifth inning.

Jonathon Niese (7-6) struck out seven in 5 2-3 innings and
limited Texas to two runs, those coming on consecutive homers by
Adrian Beltre and Michael Young in the fourth. The Mets said the
right-hander left the game, which was played with temperatures in
the mid-90s, for precautionary reasons because of a rapid
heartbeat.

Niese is 5-2 with a 2.36 ERA his last eight starts.

Jose Reyes and Willie Harris had consecutive singles to start
the game before a triple by Beltran, who then scored on Daniel
Murphy’s sacrifice fly. Beltran ended an 0-for-14 slide with the
hit.

Duda, who hit .173 with five RBIs in his 23 games before
starting Saturday at first base, had a two-run double in the third
when the Mets scored three unearned runs. He had another two-run
double during New York’s highest-scoring inning of the season,
eight runs in the sixth.

New York had 17 hits to match its season high while scoring more
than nine runs for the first time in 102 games _ since an 18-5
victory at the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 5.

The first eight New York batters reached to start the sixth.
Dave Bush allowed four consecutive singles before Michael Kirkman
replaced him.

Bush was gone after Beltran’s hit, the second of three
consecutive RBI singles in the frame. Daniel Murphy greeted Kirkman
with a hit, followed by a walk and consecutive doubles by Duda and
Josh Thole.

Angel Pagan was the only Mets starter without a hit. He walked
and scored in the seventh, then was robbed of extra bases leading
off the eighth when Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry made a
running, reaching catch in the left-center field gap that ended
with him falling hard on the warning track.

Harris opened the third when he reached on an error by third
baseman Beltre. Although Harris was eventually thrown out at third
on a fielder’s choice, when he slid about 10 feet short of the bag
into Beltre’s glove, the Mets scored three times on Duda’s double
and Thole’s single.

Ogando gave up eight hits and six runs _ three earned _ while
throwing 76 pitches over three innings.

Before his three-game losing streak, Ogando was 7-0 with a 2.10
ERA his first 12 starts.

Beltre’s 14th homer was his second in two games after a 13-game
homerless streak. Young, who has an 11-game hitting streak after
going 3 for 4, hit his third homer in four games after three homers
his first 72 games.

Nelson Cruz added his 18th homer, a 401-foot two-run blast to
left, in the eighth.

NOTES: Reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton tried some tinted contact
lenses to help him see better in the day. He was the DH and struck
out all four at-bats, the first three with the lenses. Hamilton is
hitting .113 (6 for 53) with 21 strikeouts in 15 day games this
season. … Mets OF Jason Bay, with five multihit games his last
nine games, got the day off to rest a stiff neck. Manager Terry
Collins expects Bay back in the lineup Sunday. … Collins said 3B
David Wright, who missed his 38th game Saturday because of a lower
back stress fracture, was starting to do twisting exercises at the
team’s spring training facility in Florida and is scheduled to
start hitting the middle of next week. … INF Justin Turner was
out of the Mets’ lineup with a jammed thumb. … Beltre and Young
gave the Rangers their fourth set of back-to-back homers this
season.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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