Plawecki’s slam helps power Mets to 16-5 rout of Orioles
BALTIMORE (AP) — The New York Mets enjoyed a memorable night in the midst of a season that’s worth forgetting.
Kevin Plawecki hit his first career grand slam during a nine-run sixth inning, Brandon Nimmo went 5 for 5 with three RBIs and the Mets breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 16-5 on Wednesday.
Plawecki’s slam highlighted a 19-hit outburst for the Mets, who reached a season high in runs. Nimmo achieved a career high in hits and had two cracks at completing the cycle; Todd Frazier homered , drove in four runs and fell a triple short of the cycle; and backup third baseman Jack Reinheimer got his first major league hit .
Wilmer Flores also homered for the Mets, who earned a split of the two-game interleague series. New York finished 1-3 this season against the Orioles, who own the worst record in the majors.
The Mets are nestled in fourth place in the NL East and have little chance to salvage a winning season. This game, however, was special to several players, most notably Nimmo.
New York’s leadoff hitter was vying for the cycle after going single, double, double, triple in his first four at-bats. He was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning and wrapped up his night with a single in the ninth.
The cycle didn’t happen, but Nimmo had no complaints.
“I really was thinking that five hits would be pretty cool, too. Same with getting on base six times,” he said. “When I got that last hit I was ecstatic. Nights like these, you kind of just want to bottle up and live with them forever.”
Zack Wheeler (8-6) gave up one run and five hits over five innings to win his sixth straight start. The right-hander was removed from the game by manager Mickey Callaway after the Mets sent 12 batters to the plate in a lengthy sixth against Dylan Bundy (7-11) and three relievers.
After Bundy left with two on, Nimmo hit a two-run triple. A wild pitch let in a run and Frazier doubled in two runs before right-hander Evan Phillips issued a pair of walks to load the bases for Plawecki.
Phillips fell behind in the count before grooving a fastball that Plawecki smacked into the left-field seats. It was only his 11th home run in 205 games over four seasons.
“In that situation, I was just trying to find the barrel,” Plawecki said. “Obviously it was a really good result.”
Bundy allowed seven runs and a career high-tying 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings, a performance that lifted his ERA to 4.99.
“He’s not very crisp with his command,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’ll make a couple good pitches and just can’t finish the at-bat sometimes. A couple of flares hurt him. We know what Dylan is capable of, he just hasn’t been able to get there really. It’s been off and on.”
The bullpen was equally ineffective. After the game, the Orioles optioned Phillips to Triple-A Norfolk.
Jonathan Villar homered for Baltimore and scored twice.
Mets: David Wright (shoulder/back) went 0 for 3 while playing 3B for Class A St. Lucie and is hitless in three rehab games. He has not played a major league game since May 2016. ... Jay Bruce (sore right hip) played 1B and went 2 for 4 for St. Lucie. He has been on the DL since June 18.
Though Mets CF Michael Conforto went 1 for 8 with five strikeouts in the series, he’s batting .299 since the All-Star break.
Conforto missed all of spring training after undergoing shoulder surgery last September.
“I think that he’s finally finding more of a comfort zone,” Callaway said. “He’s done a great job of settling in, and we’re seeing a more consistent Michael Conforto out there every day.”
Mets: It’s up to Philadelphia for a single-admission doubleheader on Thursday. Corey Oswalt (1-2) will start the opener followed by Steven Matz (1-2), who’s been on the DL with a strained left arm. He will be limited to 80 pitches, Callaway said.
Orioles: A rarity on Thursday for Baltimore, which gets its second day off this week (also Monday). The Orioles open a three-game series in Cleveland on Friday night.