NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie slugger Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run homer, Rio Ruiz added a three-run shot and the Baltimore Orioles hit four homers and cruised to an 11-2 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
The Orioles won their fourth straight and improved to 20-21, moving within a half-game of the slumping Yankees for the second wild-card spot.
“The energy throughout the day has been good,” Ruiz said. “We hope to continue that the last few weeks in September.”
D.J. Stewart also homered for the third straight game after hitting three homers in Baltimore’s weekend series over the Yankees. Cedric Mullins had an RBI triple as the Orioles won for the sixth time in eight games.
Pat Valaika hit a solo homer and had an RBI infield single that the Mets challenged and could not get overturned in the fifth. Valaika’s hit occurred just before Ruiz lined a 3-1 sinker from Robert Gsellman into the right field seats to turn the game into a rout.
Jose Iglesias capped the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth.
Baltimore tied season highs for homers and runs and scored double-digit runs for the third time this season.
“Unselfish, battle type of at-bats,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Next guy up mentality. Nice for these guys to see that’s winning baseball. I’m just really happy with everybody’s effort tonight.”
Jake Marisnick and Jeff McNeil homered for the Mets, who lost for the eighth time in 12 games and absorbed one of their most lopsided losses of the season.
“We got to play better than we did tonight and take care of business,” Marisnick said.
Baltimore left-hander John Means (1-3) rebounded nicely from one of his worst starts of the season, allowing one run on three hits in a season-high six innings. Means struck out five, walked one and threw a season-high 97 pitches.
Means faced the Mets for the second straight time but was significantly better six days after allowing four runs and eight hits last week in Baltimore.
“Honestly this is the first time I felt like myself,” Means said. “A slight mentality change is what caused me to have really everything going tonight. Yeah, this is the best I’ve felt all year. It’s nice to get back there.”
Michael Wacha (1-3) allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings. He has allowed 11 runs in three starts since returning from a three-week injured list stint due to right shoulder inflammation and the Mets have a 6.34 ERA from their starting pitchers in games not started by Jacob deGrom.
“I got to be better with my pitches, pitch selection and executing pitches where they need to be,” Wacha said. “You look back at the start tonight, a couple of changeups got left over the middle of the plate, elevated and they didn’t miss them.”
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead on Stewart’s drive into the second deck in right field in the second inning and went up 4-1 an inning later when Mountcastle hit his fourth homer since being called up.
Valaika opened the fourth by reaching on Marisnick’s fielding error in center. After Marisnick’s misplay, the Orioles went up 5-1 on Mullins’ third career triple.
Orioles: 1B Chris Davis (left knee tendinitis) was activated off the injured list. … RHP Carson Fulmer was activated after throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session Monday and will be used as a reliever. … IF Dilson Herrera was designated for assignment and RHP Brandon Kline was sent to the alternate site.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder bursitis) struck out five in two innings during a simulated game at the alternate site in Brooklyn on Tuesday. … Gsellman exited with a left oblique after throwing a pitch to Renato Núñez in the eighth.
Orioles: RHP Jorge Lopez (1-0, 5.59 ERA) makes his third start for Baltimore. He allowed three unearned runs in five innings in a 6-3 win over the Yankees on Friday.
Mets: RHP Rick Porcello (1-4, 5.54 ERA) allowed two runs in six innings in a no-decision to Philadelphia on Friday. He is winless in his last five starts, his longest stretch since going winless in six consecutive starts in 2015 for Boston.
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