BALTIMORE — As Brandon Nimmo stepped to the plate in the top of the ninth Wednesday, his game already perhaps the best of his career, Camden Yards was mostly empty. The Orioles’ second-stringers were in. The Mets’ 16-5 win was all but over.
And when his grounder up the middle signaled that he would fall short of a cycle — he needed a home run — Nimmo busted it down the line anyway, reaching on a single when shortstop Tim Beckham bobbled the ball.
Nimmo finished 5-for-5 with two doubles and a triple and got on base six times, including his hit-by-pitch — the highlight among highlights in the highest-scoring win of the season for the Mets (51-67), who matched a season high with 19 hits. Since the fifth inning Tuesday, Nimmo has reached in nine consecutive plate appearances.
“I really was thinking, hey, five hits is really cool, too. Same with getting on base six times,” Nimmo said. “So when I got the hit, I was ecstatic. Nights like these, you just kind of want to bottle up and live in them forever, because it’s pretty special.”
After scoring four runs in their first three games against Baltimore (36-85), which has the worst record in baseball, the Mets had quadruple that total in one night. That included nine in a sixth inning punctuated by Kevin Plawecki’s grand slam.
Wilmer Flores homered in his 2-for-5, three-RBI effort. Jack Reinheimer picked up his first career hit, a single to center, in the eighth. Jose Reyes went 2-for-5 to lift his average to .199, its highest point at the end of a game this season. Todd Frazier (3-for-6, four RBIs) finished a triple short of the cycle.
“I was thinking about it the whole time,” said Frazier, who is hitting .382 during his eight-game hit streak. “If I hit a single, I was just going to keep going. I was thinking about it the whole darn time, man.”
The Mets rocked Dylan Bundy for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. During the long sixth, former Met Sean Gilmartin became the Orioles’ fourth pitcher of the inning. He tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
That was all in support of Zack Wheeler, who had a rare shaky start. He fought through command issues — and a high pitch count — to get through five innings, his shortest outing in more than a month. He allowed one run, five hits and two walks and struck out three. Over his past five starts, Wheeler has a 1.41 ERA.
“The old Zack Wheeler reared his ugly head today,” said Wheeler, attributing his lack of command to a mechanical issue. “I felt terrible command-wise today with everything. It was a battle. I got through five, so I was happy with that after the first two innings [56 pitches].”
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.