Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Oriole’s offense remains hot in meter blows

BALTIMORE – Pat Valaika described his late father-in-law as one of his biggest fans – one who would remind him how good it can be to be a baseball player in the big leagues.

“He always told me I was living the dream,” Valaika said. “Sometimes I take it for granted, but he was definitely with me tonight.”

In his first game back from the mourning list after his father-in-law’s death, Valaika doubled and the Baltimore Orioles rolled to another high-scoring victory, 10-3 over the Mets Tuesday night.

“He loved watching me play more than anything – he really lived for it,” said Valaika. “I knew I was coming back that all he wanted me to do was play.”

Maikel Franco became the sixth player to hit a home run into the second deck at Camden Yards, and Anthony Santander also went home to the Orioles, who have won five out of six after a 14-game losing streak. Baltimore also hit seven doubles in the game, including two each by Valaika and Cedric Mullins.

Bruce Zimmermann (4-3) allowed a two-run homer in the first inning to Pete Alonso, but the Mets only managed one more hit from him in five innings. David Peterson (1-5) gave up four runs and eight hits in two and two-thirds innings.

Baltimore defeated the Mets 16-4 after scoring 18 runs with 21 hits in Sunday’s win over Cleveland.

“I thought tonight we took really good at-bats,” said Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde. “Once again up and down the order, a lot of production from the bottom half of the order.”

Alonso added another homer in the ninth, making him the first Mets player with a multi-homer game this season.

Valaika equalized the match to 2-2 with a double run in the second and then scored on a double by the Mullins. Valaika doubled another race in the third.

Mullins started with a double in the fourth – at the time he had 11 hits in his last 13 at-bats – and scored on a single by Trey Mancini.

Mets Manager Luis Rojas said the plan is still for the struggling Peterson to start his next scheduled start.

“We have to get him right,” Rojas said. “We need David Peterson.”

Franco broke the game open with a three-run homer in the fifth that went down the line in the left field and into the second deck. He was the first player to hit a home run at this level since Alonso last September. Mark Reynolds in 2011 and Manny Machado in 2017 were the only Baltimore hitters to do so in the past.

Santander hit a solo homer in the eighth.

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