The Orioles were due for a reality check after scoring 28 runs in their previous two games.
The Mets were up to the task.
Matt Harvey allowed seven runs in just three innings, and Taijuan Walker kept a previously hot lineup completely in check. New York kept up the power surge against the Orioles’ bullpen, and Baltimore fell 14-1.
Harvey had an opportunity to make up for a previous loss against his former team. The May 12 outing could be chalked up to an emotional return to New York. This one, well, not so much. The writing appears to be on the wall with the Harvey redemption experiment in Baltimore. How long Mike Elias and the Orioles will stick with the veteran remains to be seen.
Pete Alonso served as the Mets’ lone offense on Tuesday. Unlike the Orioles, Alonso carried that momentum into this evening. The Polar Bear turned around a hanging slider to provide New York a two run advantage in the first inning.
Harvey settled down with a seven-pitch second inning, but Alonso and the Mets came for blood in the third. Former Oriole Jonathan Villar ripped a leadoff double, and Alonso followed with a bloop single to right field. Harvey came within a strike from escaping the jam, but James McCann laced another hanging slider up the middle to plate a run.
Harvey gained another favorable count against Billy McKinney, but the right fielder sent another single up the middle to score another run. Harvey’s inability to put away hitters extended the inning, but a careless mistake put the game out of reach. Harvey grooved a fastball to Kevin Pillar and Pillar did not miss.
Pillar’s three-run homer ignited a loud roar from a well-represented Mets crowd at Camden Yards. Even with the recent run totals, the game felt out of reach at that point. Adam Plutko, Dillon Tate and César Valdez limited the Mets to just one run over the next four innings, but Mac Sceroler did not share in their good fortune.
Sceroler, making his first appearance since returning from the injured list, coughed up another homer to Pillar in the eighth. Another former Oriole, Mason Williams, followed with a blast of his own. Williams will soon fall into that “oh yeah, I totally remember him” category, but the 29-year-old had the last laugh tonight.
Sceroler returned in the ninth and the Mets refused to let up. Alonso plated Villar with a double, and McKinney added insult to injury with a three-run home run of his own.
The positives were few and far between tonight. There is always the draft pick angle. Ryan Mountcastle extended his RBI streak to eight games with a single in the first, and Cedric Mullins made another tremendous play in center field. Maikel Franco finished 2-3 and picked up Baltimore’s only extra base hit.
The game soured the ending of an impressive eight game homestand. The Orioles still finished above .500 at Camden Yards, and the pair of offensive explosions figure to be a high point this season.
It’s difficult to be overly critical of Sceroler when he just returned from the injured list. The Rule-5 pick will have several opportunities to bounce back, but he will need to take another step forward to keep up with fellow rule-fiver Tyler Wells.
Baltimore will take Thursday off before starting a weekend series in Tampa Bay.