ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Randy Arozarena hit a tying homer off Edwin Díaz with two outs in the ninth inning, Jonny DeLuca lined a two-run triple in the 10th and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Mets 7-6 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Automatic runner José Caballero stole third as Jake Diekman (1-1) walked Ben Rortvedt leading off the bottom of the 10th. Both runners scored when DeLuca’s line drive got past a diving Harrison Bader in center field.

“I thought that was the right play there,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said of Bader’s try. “He’s one of the best defenders there is. He was aggressive. He thought he had a play and just came up short.”

New York took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th when Bader scored on an error by first baseman Yandy Díaz, who was unable to make a clean catch on a low throw after Brandon Nimmo’s grounder was deflected by reliever Erasmo Ramírez (1-0).

A slumping Arozarena pulled the Rays even at 5 with a two-out solo homer to left field on a full-count pitch from Edwin Díaz, who had converted 26 consecutive save chances dating to 2022 — the longest active streak in the majors.

“I was trying to throw a slider down and away,” Edwin Díaz said. “I know he was struggling, so I wanted to make a good pitch to see if he would chase.”

Arozarena said the previous pitch was a slider, so he was looking for another one. The 2023 All-Star is hitting just .143. He struck out three times in his first four at-bats.

Tampa Bay had lost eight of 10 before the sweep.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit,” Arozaena said through a translator. “It’s good to come out and work hard and stay positive out there. And as you can see, the team really needed it.”

New York has dropped eight straight games at Tropicana Field.

“Tough loss and tough series,” Mendoza said.

Francisco Lindor connected on a two-run homer in the first for the Mets and leads the majors with six multi-RBI games since April 19.

Rays starter Ryan Pepiot exited in the third with a bruised lower left leg after getting hit by Starling Marte’s 107.5 mph line drive. The right-hander, who was 2-0 with 1.00 ERA in his previous three starts, gave up three runs and three hits in two-plus innings. The team said X-rays were negative.

Pepiot doesn’t expect to miss much time.

Mets starter Luis Severino allowed four runs, four hits and a career-high six walks in five innings. He struck out six during a 98-pitch outing. The right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth in his previous start last Monday against the Cubs.

Yandy Díaz drove in two run for the Rays.

Mets slugger Pete Alonzo had one hit in 12 at-bats during the series and is 1 for 28 over his last eight games. His batting average is down to .206.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder strain) threw 32 pitches Saturday over two simulated innings in his second session of live batting practice. Mendoza said the reports on Senga were good. “He said he felt great,” Mendoza said. “Everything’s moving in the right direction.” Senga could be back in late May or early June.

Rays: RHP Taj Bradley (right pectoral strain) will likely rejoin the rotation this week.

UP NEXT

Mets: LHP Sean Manaea (1-1, 3.07 ERA) faces Cardinals RHP Kyle Gibson (2-2, 3.79) on Monday night in St. Louis.

Rays: LHP Tyler Alexander (1-1. 5.02 ERA) will start or follow an opener Monday night against the Chicago White Sox. The AL-worst White Sox swept a three-game series from Tampa Bay last month.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB