BALTIMORE -- Following his long-awaited arrival in the big leagues, Matt Wieters went 13 games without a home run or an RBI.
One swing changed everything.Wieters hit his first home run, Aubrey Huff had a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning and the Baltimore Orioles withstood Gary Sheffield's 507th career homer in a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.Wieters, the fifth overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft, entered the game batting .234 with three extra-base hits since making his debut with Baltimore on May 29. The drought ended in the second inning, when the rookie catcher hit an opposite-field, two-run drive to left off Tim Redding."It's a good feeling -- a good feeling first to get that zero out of the RBI column," Wieters said.Even if the ball barely made it into the seats."It's tough to give up someone's first big league home run by six inches, especially on a ball right over the wall," Redding said. "But a home run is a home run. Two runs are two runs, We lost by two runs."Wieters received a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 31,906. The fans kept cheering until Wieters finally acknowledged the reception with a brief curtain call."I haven't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball, so it's good to get that kind of ovation and that kind of support from the home fans," he said.Then, to top it all off, Wieters had his postgame TV interview interrupted by a shaving cream pie, courtesy of teammate Adam Jones."Anytime you can get a shaving cream face, that means you won a ballgame and did something good for the team," Wieters said. "It's always an honor to get one of those things, and I'll take as many of those as they want to give me."Nick Markakis matched a career high with four hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who blew leads of 1-0 and 4-2 before pulling away for the final time in the seventh.With one out and the score 4-all, Markakis singled off Pedro Feliciano (2-2) and Huff hit a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall, his first extra-base hit in 17 games since May 26."It felt longer than it really was, going as bad as I was as far as power numbers," Huff said. "Just to get that out of the way felt really nice."The Mets didn't have another comeback left in them."They can put instant runs on the board, and sometimes for an offense like ours it's hard to overcome that, that late," New York manager Jerry Manuel said. "Our thing is to bob and weave and jab, and they be hitting us with body blows."Jim Johnson (3-3) worked two innings and George Sherrill got three outs for his 13th save.Unlike Wieters, Sheffield is an old hand at hitting homers. His latest, a solo shot off Brian Bass, moved him within four of Mel Ott for 23rd on the career list.Orioles starter Koji Uehara was lifted with Baltimore ahead 4-2 entering the sixth. The bullpen promptly blew the lead, keeping the Japanese rookie winless in nine starts since April 13.In his second appearance since returning from the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, Uehara gave up seven hits and struck out five. Although the right-hander was not on a pitch count, manager Dave Trembley decided 89 was enough.After Uehara left, Bass got one out in the sixth before Sheffield homered. The Mets then loaded the bases, and Mark Hendrickson walked Alex Cora to force in a run and make it 4-all. But Fernando Tatis squashed the uprising by bouncing into a double play."They were playing him perfectly up the middle. That was a big play for them," Manuel said.A run-scoring single by Huff put Baltimore up 1-0 in the first inning, but the Mets used an RBI single by Daniel Murphy to pull even in the second.In the fourth, a sacrifice fly by Brian Schneider got the Mets to 3-2.Markakis hit a two-out single in the fifth and stole second before Huff was walked intentionally to get to right-handed hitting Melvin Mora, who bounced an RBI single up the middle.
On Jones' bobblehead night, Baltimore's center fielder went 0 for 4 with a walk and a run scored. ... Mets 3B David Wright went 0 for 5, ending an 11-game hitting streak in which he batted .558.