Four homers power Mets to sweep of O's
Wright goes deep twice in Amazin's fourth straight win
BALTIMORE -- Jason Bay rediscovered his lost swing, David Wright flashed his old power stroke in dominating fashion and the New York Mets recorded their first road sweep of the year. An 11-4 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday gave the Mets eight wins in nine games, put them seven games over .500 and provided a sense of relief that a team that once seemed incapable of winning on the road had turned a critical corner.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
"It's huge for us. It's well-documented, our record at home," said Bay, who busted out of a 1-for-24 slump with a four-hit afternoon that included a home run. "We know how well we've played, and at some point you've got to start winning some games on the road or you can't make up any ground."
For that to happen, the Mets need to mix together effective starting pitching, get sufficient production from Bay and get some power from Wright. That -- and more -- happened at Camden Yards as New York pounded out a season-high 18 hits.
"The offense kind of carried us today," manager Jerry Manuel said. "The offense pretty much took over the game."
And right from the start.
Wright hit his first of two-run homers and Chris Carter added a three-run blast in the first inning off Orioles right-hander Kevin Millwood (0-8), whose name keeps coming up as a possible trade target should the Mets decide to add a veteran starting pitcher. Millwood lasted 5 1/3 innings, yielding eight runs on 11 hits.
Bay also homered as New York improved to 5-1 in Interleague Play this year. The Mets hadn't swept a three-game road series since beating the Milwaukee Brewers from Sept. 1-3, 2008.
Trying to figure out why he couldn't buy a hit, Bay decided to employ a swing encompassing less movement -- no back-and-forth with his hands while he awaited a pitch, no swaying of his hips in the batter's box -- and got the results he desired.
Or so he thought.
"I felt a lot different today, but when I watched on video, I looked exactly the same. I mean, identical," Bay said after going 4-for-4 to pump his average to .284.
Still, Bay thought the work with hitting coach Howard Johnson had finally paid dividends.
"It's been a constant battle. In the batting cage ... trying this, that, trying to find that one thing that helps you feel comfortable. Today is one of those days when it clicked," Bay said.
Wright, who dropped from 33 home runs in 2008 to 10 in the Mets' inaugural season at Citi Field last year, proved he can still power up. He followed his first-inning homer with a sixth-inning two-run blast off reliever Mark Hendrickson.
Wright now has 12 homers in 63 games, two more than all of last season -- not that he was ever concerned by what many perceived as a power outage.
"If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: It doesn't matter to me," Wright said. "I've hit 30 in a season, I've hit 20 in a season, I've hit 10 in a season. It makes no bit of difference as long as I'm driving in runs and being productive at the plate. The home run thing, it didn't matter to me when I hit 10 last year and it doesn't matter to me now that I have more than 10 this year."
What the team-wide offensive outburst -- every starting field player had at least a hit -- achieved was taking some of the pressure off right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who won his fifth straight decision on a humid day with temperatures hovering in the low 90s.
"Pelfrey obviously didn't have his good stuff today, so it was good to go out there and pick him up," Wright said. "At the same time, it kind of shows the maturity Pelfrey has found this year ... to go out there and not have his best stuff -- kind of be erratic and labor out there and still find a way to pick up the quality start."
The Mets rocked Millwood for six hits in the first inning, grabbing a 5-0 lead before Millwood could get the second out. Jose Reyes led off with an infield single and was wiped out on Angel Pagan's fielder's choice before Wright blasted his 11th homer to left-center. Ike Davis then singled, Bay drew a walk and Carter crushed a 1-1 slider into the center-field stands.
That was ample support for Pelfrey (9-1), who allowed three runs -- matching the total he'd surrendered in his previous four starts -- on nine hits. He walked three and struck out one. Pelfrey didn't buckle when Baltimore scored three runs in the first two innings, and Pelfrey stranded eight Orioles.
"I didn't have a feel for anything. Everything was up, everything was flat," said Pelfrey. "I can't live up there. I felt like they were racing for the bat rack. They were hitting some shots -- whew! Luckily, today was a good day to put up some runs. I'll definitely take it. The offense picked me up."
Bay homered with one out in the fifth, his fourth of the season and first since a two-homer game against the Yankees at Citi Field on May 23, breaking a dry spell of 66 at-bats. Wright's sixth-inning homer gave him his 14th career two-homer game.
After an off-day Monday, the Mets head to Cleveland for three games and then complete an all-Interleague road trip with a trio at Yankee Stadium next weekend.
"It's a positive step for us," Bay said. "The road trip isn't over yet, but you can't overlook it. It's a positive start."
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.