Mets explode in grand fashion in Detroit

DETROIT -- Ryan Howard and John Buck produced grand slams against the New York Mets earlier this season.

Derrek Lee, Danny Espinosa, David Ross, Melvin Mora, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston, Corey Hart, Shane Victorino, Felipe Lopez and Josh Willingham had slams against the Mets a year ago.

And after Angel Pagan had a slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 1, 2009, Albert Pujols, Everth Cabrera, Jake Fox and Justin Maxwell had slams against the Mets later that season.

In all, opponents had slugged 18 consecutive grand slams against the Mets -- a major league record. That is, they had slugged 18 straight until Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran had bases-loaded homers in consecutive innings in a 14-3 win against the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

The players did not know the precise number -- 18 straight slams by opponents -- but they knew it had been a while.

"I have heard on TV," Beltran playfully said. "On TV they mention it all the time what we're not doing. We are aware of everything we're not doing -- or maybe that we're doing wrong."

Said Pagan about the last one: "I remember the grand slam, at home against Arizona. But I didn't remember it being the last one. Oh, yeah, it feels like a long time ago. That was a special moment for me, because that was my mother's first game in New York. So of course I remember."

The Mets actually had gone a week without any homer whatsoever, with Bay struggling in the power department and David Wright and Ike Davis still on the disabled list. Yet they now have managed to put up 14, 8 and 14 runs in their past three games against AL division leaders Texas and Detroit. It's the most runs they have put up in a three-game stretch since also putting up 36 in August 2005 at Arizona, when Mike Jacobs burst onto the scene.

Tuesday's win also vaulted the Mets over .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 on April 6. So the chatter about whether the Mets are going to trade Jose Reyes or Beltran or anyone else at the trading deadline can take a back seat for a while so the season can have a chance to play out.

Not that the players are euphoric at climbing to 40-39.

"We played this game too many times over the last month," Bay said, referring to the Mets getting to a .500 record, then slipping backward. "It's almost like you want to bury your head in the sand, and we are where we're at, and just keep going. Every time we've gotten to this point, we've kind of taken two steps back. One forward, two back. It's like, forget the record, we're just going to keep playing baseball."

Bay still has only 10 homers in two seasons as a Met -- not exactly what the organization shelled out $66 million over four years to see in return. Yet it was Bay who ended that 18-0 disparity in grand slams.

"It wasn't something that was sitting in here eating us alive," Bay said.

Still, Bay knew it had been a while, even if he did not know the precise number.

"I remember last year it was pretty heavy," Bay said about the unanswered barrage against the Mets. "So to go from that to two in one game, I think, was pretty unforeseen."