Wilmer leads charge of Mets' 19-hit breakout

Wilmer leads charge of Mets' 19-hit breakout

NEW YORK -- A host of injuries have pruned the Mets' Opening Day starting lineup down to three guys. Third baseman David Wright, first baseman Lucas Duda and catcher Travis d'Arnaud have all landed on the disabled list, while left fielder Michael Conforto and second baseman Neil Walker are both sidelined with their own maladies.

The result has been an offense that ranks last in the Major Leagues in runs per game (2.9) since May 1, including a shutout loss to the Pirates in the series opener Tuesday.

On Wednesday, though, at least for one day, New York's injuries and the resulting slump at the plate were pushed to the side as the bats powered the Mets to an 11-2 victory over the Pirates at Citi Field.

Johnson's solo smash

"Any time you get shut out and don't look very good and your fans are booing you, it's nice to go out there the next night and show them that that is the great part about our game -- we go out there and play again tomorrow," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

"I'll give [hitting coach Kevin Long] and [assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler] some credit," Collins added. "They got the guys together before the game tonight, talked about the approaches at the plate, and they took it into the game and applied it and you saw some better results today."

Those results came from the players who have been called into question so much over the past couple of weeks, as all five replacements for the regular starters combined to hit 12-for-25 (.480) and plated all 11 of the Mets' runs.

Wilmer Flores led the charge for that group, going 2-for-5 with four RBIs, plating his first two runs with weakly hit balls -- a groundout and a bloop single -- before launching a two-run home run in the sixth inning of Rob Scahill.

Flores' RBI single

Of all the replacements, it's the performance that was least surprising given that Flores has hit .375 (15-for-40) since taking over for Wright, who is battling a herniated disk in his neck, at third base on June 3.

"I think I was 0-for-12 [coming into this game] and I was still feeling good," Flores said. "Sometimes you don't get the result that you want, but today I got them."

So did everybody else who has been asked to log at-bats for the ailing Mets, who tallied a season-high 19 hits. Matt Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in place of Walker, who missed his third straight game with lower back soreness. Kelly Johnson recorded the same line in left field replacing Conforto (left wrist).

Reynolds' two-out two-run double

James Loney, who was acquired from the Padres on May 28 to play first base while Duda recovers from a stress fracture in his lower back, added an RBI double in the sixth. Catcher Rene Rivera tacked on three hits and two RBIs as well.

Rivera's RBI single

"We're still a very good team," Reynolds said. "Just because guys are injured doesn't mean that we can't win games and score runs. Every team goes through their rough periods and every team has their great periods, and right now, we've been in a rough patch.

"It happens, but we broke out of it tonight and we showed that we can still play."

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.