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R. Rivera homers twice as Mets sweep Giants

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rene Rivera's versatile effort, which featured a pair of home runs and shutdown defense, spurred the New York Mets to Sunday's 8-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Rivera homered in each of his first two at-bats off Giants starter Matt Moore, helping New York grab a 4-1 lead. He also made a hustling, daring catch of Denard Span's first-inning popup, snaring the ball inches in front of the backstop. With Giants on the corners, two outs in the third inning and a run in, Rivera ended the threat by throwing out Hunter Pence on an attempted steal of second base.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Rene Rivera's versatile effort, which featured a pair of home runs and shutdown defense, spurred the New York Mets to Sunday's 8-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Rivera homered in each of his first two at-bats off Giants starter Matt Moore, helping New York grab a 4-1 lead. He also made a hustling, daring catch of Denard Span's first-inning popup, snaring the ball inches in front of the backstop. With Giants on the corners, two outs in the third inning and a run in, Rivera ended the threat by throwing out Hunter Pence on an attempted steal of second base.

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Behind Rivera's efforts, the Mets rebounded from a four-game series sweep in Los Angeles to take three straight from the Giants.

Video: NYM@SF: Rene Rivera nabs Pence trying to steal second

"You can see the players we've got here," Rivera said. "We want to do something good. We want to play hard. Coming from a bad series in L.A., to come here and sweep San Francisco, that shows a lot about the chemistry and the demeanor of this team."

Right-hander Rafael Montero (1-4) surrendered one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings to help the Mets record their first sweep of the Giants at AT&T Park since July 8-10, 2013. By contrast, Moore (3-8) yielded five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"I made some pretty big mistakes to Rene right there. … I paid for a couple balls that were up," Moore said.

San Francisco tumbled to its fifth loss in a row and 12th in 13 games.

"I don't feel like it's that complicated. … We've got to get it going," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "It's not good."

• Confident Montero gives Mets rotation option

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rivera gets on a roll: After throwing a first-inning wild pitch that helped New York score without benefit of a hit, Moore remained shaky in the second inning. Lucas Duda drilled a leadoff single before T.J. Rivera and Michael Conforto lined out. That nevertheless left Moore an out away from finishing a scoreless inning. But Rene Rivera took control for himself and the Mets by rocketing an 0-1 pitch over the left-field barrier.

Video: NYM@SF: Rene Rivera smashes a two-run shot to left

"Big game for him," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He was swinging so well early and has kind of run into a little bit of a slow streak. Today I hope gets him back."

Right man, right spot, wrong result: The Giants had a chance to make the game more competitive in the sixth inning when Posey batted with runners on first and second, nobody out and New York leading, 5-1. But with the runners breaking on Montero's 3-2 pitch, Posey blooped a foul popup to first baseman Duda, who threw to second base to complete a double play that doused the rally.

"He's a contact guy and doesn't strike out much," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's the one thing that will come back to haunt you -- the double play. … We were trying to force the issue a little bit and stay out of a double play."

Video: NYM@SF: Duda doubles off Panik in the 6th inning

QUOTABLE
"These are tough times. There's no getting around it. I've been through some tough stretches and this is as tough as any stretch I've ever seen or been in. … But enough is enough. At some point, we've got to find a way to get this thing turned around." -- Bochy, on the Giants' recent struggles

"The adrenaline was running. I've never pitched in front of 40,000 people before, so it's a little different. But it was awesome." -- Mets reliever Chasen Bradford, who pitched a scoreless ninth in his big league debut

Video: NYM@SF: Bradford fans Hundley for first career K

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With four long balls, the Mets increased their June total to 46, their most in any calendar month in franchise history. But they hold just an 11-13 record in June despite the historic homer pace.

Video: NYM@SF: Granderson uncorks a solo homer to right

FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Conforto was down on the ground for several moments in the fifth inning, after Moore hit him on the left hand with a 92 mph fastball. Conforto eventually climbed to his feet and stayed in the game, but gave way to a defensive replacement one inning later. X-rays were negative; the Mets announced that Conforto suffered merely a contusion. More >

Video: NYM@SF: Conforto leaves game after hit by pitch

Giants left fielder Austin Slater left the game in the seventh inning due to a strained right hip flexor. The 24-year-old rookie will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. More >

WHAT'S NEXT
Mets: The Mets' reward for their sweep? Some R&R in Miami, where they will arrive early Monday morning. Following the beach day, right-hander Robert Gsellman will open a three-game series Tuesday at Marlins Park, starting a 7:10 p.m. ET game opposite right-hander Dan Straily.

Giants: With the memory of being swept in a four-game series June 15-18 at Colorado still fresh in their memory, the Giants will entertain the Rockies for three games, with the opener set for Monday at 7:08 p.m. PT. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who's 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA against Colorado this season, is scheduled to start Monday for San Francisco.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Rafael Montero, Matt Moore, Rene Rivera