NEW YORK—As Matt Harvey trotted to the mound at Citi Field for the first time as an opponent, Mets fans applauded. As Harvey began to warm up, their applause grew louder, and then they began standing.
When Harvey came to the plate in the top of the second, they stood again.
Unfortunately for the Orioles, that was the highlight of Harvey’s day. He gave up a season-high seven runs in a 7-1 loss before 8,035 on Wednesday.
Harvey was a star in New York, starting the All-Star Game in 2013 and a World Series game in 2015 before things went south. He remembered it all.
“There was a lot of excitement, a lot of memories,” Harvey said. “Obviously, there’s been so many ups and downs here in this ballpark, this organization that I didn’t really know what to expect, and what the fans gave me out there was pretty incredible.
“I was holding back tears. I’m not going to lie about that. It was pretty hard holding them back. It reminded me of a lot of the good memories and coming off the field with an ovation like that, it brought a lot back. It was very special to me. It was something I’ll never forget.”
The Orioles (16-21) lost both games at Citi Field, where they’re 3-8, and are five games below .500 for the first time this season with the New York Yankees coming to Baltimore this weekend.
The Mets (18-13), winners of seven straight, had three-run innings in the second and fifth and scored another run in the third.
Harvey (3-3) watched his ERA increase from 3.60 to 4.81.
“It was hard,” Harvey said. “This is a very special place for me. I’d like to say I gave everything I had here, especially in that 2015 run. It was something special. I left it all out there, for everybody, for our fans, for our teammates … Those memories definitely came in when I got some cheers, when I got the standing ovation. It was absolutely incredible.”
Kevin Pillar’s two-run triple, and José Peraza’s RBI single, the fourth of four consecutive hits to begin the second, gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Dominic Smith, who had three hits and three RBIs, had a run-scoring single in the third and a two-run double in the fifth.
By the time Smith came up, Harvey had left the game to another ovation, and Shawn Armstrong was in. Armstrong allowed another inherited run on Peraza’s second RBI single, and the Orioles were down, 7-0.
“I wish things went differently,” Harvey said. “I wish the score was flip-flopped. My job is to go out and keep runs off the board, and I didn’t do that, regardless of who you’re playing.
“The situation was a rough one. I felt like I made some decent pitches. They were tough. They made me work. They hit the ball the other way well. They went against the scouting report that I had used from the previous games. They did a good job. They hit the ball where we weren’t and made me work. They got some timely hits. You always had traffic. It was one of those where balls weren’t hit very hard. They got some runs across.”
Trey Mancini’s two-out, first-inning double against Taijuan Walker (3-1) was the Orioles’ only hit until the sixth. Cedric Mullins led off the sixth with a single and, after Austin Hays flied to center, Mancini singled again, but the threat ended with Ryan Mountcastle’s inning-ending double play.
Hays had two extra-base hits taken away by outstanding plays. Pillar leaped high in front of the wall in left-center in the first. In the third, rightfielder Michael Conforto made a diving catch of a liner by Hays.
“We drove a few that they made some great defensive plays on, and that changed the game early,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Last September, with the Orioles trying to reach .500, Conforto made a long running catch in right on a Rio Ruiz drive with the bases loaded to send the Orioles to a loss that began a decisive five-game losing streak.
Walker allowed a run in the seventh when Freddy Galvis walked, and Ruiz singled with one out. Galvis scored on Chance Sisco’s infield out. In seven innings, Walker gave up the run on four hits.
“We’re facing some good pitching,” Hyde said. “These guys have an under-3 team ERA. We’re scuffling. We’re having a tough time putting rallies together.”
The Orioles loaded the bases against Robert Gsellman in the eighth, but Maikel Franco lined out to second to end the inning.
Orioles reach vaccine threshold: More than 85 percent of the Orioles’ players, coaches and staff have been vaccinated, and they’re able to have their Covid-19 protocols relaxed, the team announced.
They no longer must wear masks in the dugout, bullpen or the weight room. Masks still must be worn in the clubhouse.
Notes: Dean Kremer (0-3, 6.23 ERA) will face Corey Kluber (2-2, 3.06) when the Orioles play the Yankees in the first of a three-game series on Friday night at Orioles Park. Jorge López (1-3, 5.63) will face Domingo Germán (2-2, 4.02) on Saturday night, John Means (4-0, 1.21) will face Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 3.96) on Sunday afternoon. … Rightfielder Anthony Santander, who is on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained left ankle, is running the bases, according to Hyde. The manager also said relief pitcher Hunter Harvey, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a strained left oblique, is preparing to throw simulated games. Both are in Sarasota, Florida. … Keegan Akin threw a scoreless sixth against the Mets, his first action for the Orioles this season. Akin is the 34th player used by the Orioles in 2021.