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Mets 11, Orioles 4

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BALTIMORE (AP)

Empowered by a rare series sweep on the road, the New York Mets are ready to make a run at first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

David Wright hit two homers, Chris Carter and Jason Bay also connected, and the Mets amassed a season-high 18 hits Sunday in an 11-4 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

New York came to Camden Yards with a 9-18 record away from home. Now, after their first three-game road sweep since September 2008, in Milwaukee, the second-place Mets have won eight of nine overall to move within 1 1/2 games of the Braves.

``It's well documented, our record at home (24-10). We know how well we play at home,'' Bay said. ``At some point you have to win some games on the road. Otherwise you can't make up any ground. It's a good start.''

The Mets next play three games in Cleveland before concluding their road trip with three more at Yankee Stadium.

Instead of dreading the journey, New York is eager to get it on.

``The road trip isn't over yet. You can't overlook it, but you couldn't have picked a better start,'' Bay said.

Bay entered in an 0-for-16 skid before going 4 for 4 and scoring four of New York's season-high 11 runs. Wright and Alex Cora each had three hits, and Carter hit his second homer in three games.

``If we play good baseball, then we can be among the top-tier teams. We're playing good baseball,'' manager Jerry Manuel said. ``Right now a lot of things are going our way.''

Mike Pelfrey (9-1) gave up three runs, nine hits and three walks in six rocky innings but received enough offensive support to win his fifth straight decision.

The Mets outscored Baltimore 19-6 during the sweep and now stand at a season-high seven games over .500 (35-28).

``We're having fun,'' Carter said. ``There's a lot of confidence right now.''

Three of New York's home runs came off Kevin Millwood (0-8), who has yielded a major league-high 19 homers in 14 starts this season. The right-hander gave up eight runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings.

``I'm a little confused. I feel like I've been trying too many things,'' Millwood said. ``I've just got a million things running through my head instead of just trying to execute pitches, and that's nobody's fault but my own.''

Adam Jones had three hits and two RBIs for the Orioles (17-46), who have lost 15 of 17 and are 2-7 under interim manager Juan Samuel. Baltimore is 0-10-1 in its last 11 series.

``I'm trying to stay as positive as I can for these guys,'' Samuel said. ``My job is to keep these guys going, keep them focused, continue to improve in some areas that we can improve.''

Held to one run in each of the first two games, Baltimore got 11 hits, which served as a source of hope for the downtrodden team.

``We've seen some guys starting to swing the bats a little bit better, so hopefully it gives us a chance to do more of the things that we want to do,'' Samuel said.

The game was all but decided in the first inning, when the Mets batted around and got six hits, including a two-run drive by Wright and a three-run shot by Carter.

Luke Scott hit a sacrifice fly and Jones singled in a run in the bottom half, and Baltimore closed to 5-3 in the second on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada.

But Cora hit an RBI single in the third, Bay's fourth homer made it 7-3 in the fifth, and Wright capped a three-run sixth with a two-run drive off Mark Hendrickson.

Bay doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cora in the seventh. Jones hit an RBI single in the bottom half.

NOTES: After the game, the Orioles activated RHP Alfredo Simon (hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Brad Bergesen to Triple-A Norfolk. Bergesen had been pitching out of the bullpen, but will return to his starting role in the minors. ``This is a guy that we think is going to be a starter here for a long time and he just needs to go down there and pitch,'' Samuel said. ... It was the eighth time this year Baltimore has been swept. ... Wright has 25 RBIs in his last 26 games. He has more homers this season (12) than he did all last year (10). ... Millwood has given up 20 runs in his last three starts. ... New York C Henry Blanco made the last out in four innings.

Tagged: Orioles, Mets, Kevin Millwood, Alex Cora, Jason Bay, David Wright, Adam Jones

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