Anemic Mets look to break out vs. struggling Orioles

NEW YORK — The starting pitching isn’t the problem for the New York Mets. The problem is an offense so anemic it’s even managing to cure what has been ailing Baltimore Orioles pitchers all season.

The Orioles will look to continue the Mets’ misery Wednesday afternoon, when the teams complete a two-game interleague series at Citi Field. Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy (3-7, 4.46 ERA) is scheduled to oppose New York’s Zack Wheeler (2-4, 5.14 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Orioles snapped a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, when Alex Cobb gave up a run on two hits over six innings and earned the win in a 2-1 victory.

Cobb’s effort marked only the fifth time this season an Orioles starter has lasted at least six innings while allowing two or fewer hits and one run or fewer. Baltimore (18-41) has the worst record in baseball thanks largely to a rotation that has compiled a 5.41 ERA. On Tuesday, Cobb lowered his ERA to 6.19.

“That was fun to watch,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters afterward. “Been waiting for that one.”

The wait for big hits continues for the Mets (27-31), who have lost five straight, a span in which they’ve scored seven runs, and 12 of 15. Mets’ starters have a 2.54 ERA over their last 17 games.

Manager Mickey Callaway admitted Tuesday night he’s concerned members of the rotation might begin to feel discouraged watching their strong work go for naught. Starter Jason Vargas allowed two runs on five hits over five innings against the Orioles.

“We try to make sure that after the day is said and done, that we remind them that you can’t control (the offense),” Callaway said. “Just go out there and pitch the way you’re capable of.”

The Mets have recorded only three hits in each of their last two games and were no-hit into the fifth Tuesday by Cobb and into the sixth Sunday by the Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lester.

“We come here every day, we prepare, we work, we give the effort,” said Mets outfielder Jay Bruce, who had two hits Tuesday. “We just have to figure out a way to score more runs than the other team. That’s just the bottom line.”

The Orioles could not do that in Bundy’s most recent start May 29, when he took the loss after giving up three runs on a season-high 11 hits over six innings as the Orioles fell to the Washington Nationals 3-2.

“That’s the whole point of the game of baseball, trying to not give more runs than we score,” Bundy told reporters afterward. “Just trying to limit damage there as much as I could.”

Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent appearance Thursday, when he allowed two runs over six innings as the Mets fell to the Cubs 7-4.

Bundy has never faced the Mets and Wheeler has never pitched against the Orioles.