Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Pete Alonso hit a go-ahead home run and Michael Conforto snared an impressive over-the-shoulder catch with the bases loaded to lead the New York Mets to a 7-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y.
Alonso went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the victory Wednesday at Citi Field. Conforto also homered in the win.
"Every single win matters so much, especially at this point of the year," Alonso told reporters. "There were so many incredible instances where the game changed.
"It was a tremendous group effort."
The Orioles blasted Mets starter Rick Porcello for 10 hits and five runs in four innings, but the Mets bullpen allowed just two hits and shut out Baltimore over the final 3 1/3 innings to secure the win.
Renato Nunez and Ryan Mountcastle each hit RBI singles in the top of the first inning to give the Orioles a 2-0 edge. Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil cut the deficit in half with another RBI single in the bottom of the second inning.
Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz sliced a two-run double to center field for a 4-1 lead in the third inning. Hanser Alberto then plated Ruiz with an RBI single in the same frame.
McNeil returned to the plate in the bottom of the fourth frame and smashed a two-run homer to left field to make the score 5-3. D.J. Stewart responded with a solo home run for the Orioles in the top of the next inning.
Conforto then stepped up to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the fifth frame to cut the deficit to two runs. The Mets outfielder fouled off a fastball from Orioles starter Jorge Lopez before he connected on an 0-1 sinker and sent the pitch over the center field fence for a 429-foot homer.
Robinson Cano hit an RBI single in the same inning to cut the Orioles advantage to one run. The Orioles responded again in the top of the sixth frame before Conforto came up with another big play.
The Mets retired the first two hitters of the inning before relief pitcher Jared Hughes issued a walk and hit back-to-back batters to load the bases. Justin Wilson then replaced Hughes to face Ruiz in the final at-bat of the half inning. The Orioles infielder took a cutter for a ball on the first pitch of the exchange. He then blasted a 1-0 sinker deep to right field.
Conforto raced back toward the warning track as he tracked the baseball. He looked over his right shoulder before he realized the ball was headed toward his left side. Conforto then adjusted to the ball's flight path, jumped and used his gloved left hand to snag the ball for the final out of the frame.
"I tried to find the wall before I made my jump," Conforto said. "The [Mets] bullpen was yelling that I had room. In that situation you have to just go up for it.
"Luckily my glove was just long enough and I came down with it."
Neither team managed to get a hit in the seventh inning. Orioles pitcher Hunter Harvey came in to relieve Tanner Scott in the bottom of the eighth inning to face Alonso in the leadoff at-bat.
Alonso smashed Harvey's first pitch of the night to center field for a 406-foot homer. Alonso's blast traveled 105 mph off his bat and left the field in 6 seconds, according to Statcast.
Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz allowed a leadoff single to Hanser Alberto in the top of the ninth inning before he retired the next three hitters and picked up his third save of the season.
Lopez allowed six hits and five runs for the Orioles. Stewart went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk in the loss. Mountcastle went 4 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
McNeil and Dominic Smith had two hits apiece for the Mets.
The Mets (20-24) and Orioles (20-22) split the two-game series. The Orioles battle the New York Yankees at 7:05 p.m. EDT Thursday at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Mets face the Toronto Blue Jays at 6:37 p.m. EDT Friday at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y.