MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins watched snowflakes swirl over Target Field all night.
What happened to Vance Worley against the New York Mets was, well, more like an avalanche.
John Buck kept up his powerful start with a grand slam, his fourth home run in the last four games, and the Mets beat the Twins 16-5 on Friday.
"It's frustrating. Nobody likes to have that happen to them," Worley said. "I just need to make some adjustments this week and make sure I'm ready to go."
Buck became only the fourth major league player in at least 92 years to reach 19 RBIs in the first 10 games of a season, according to STATS research dating to 1921. Chris Davis did it for Baltimore this year, Manny Ramirez for Cleveland in 1999 and Lou Gehrig for the Yankees in 1927.
In his first two weeks with the Mets after being traded twice during the offseason, Buck already has six homers. His career high is 20.
Jonathon Niese (2-0) lasted only five innings in frigid weather, ending his streak of 22 consecutive starts of six or more that dated to last June. That was the longest current run in the majors. He threw 101 pitches, giving up five hits, five runs (four earned) and four walks while striking out one.
David Wright drove in four runs and missed the cycle by a home run, Daniel Murphy had four hits and four RBIs and the Mets didn't let the wintry conditions hurt their offense in any way. They overwhelmed Worley (0-2), who got three outs and gave up nine runs.
The Mets batted around in each of the first two innings, scoring five times in each frame. The first five batters reached base in both innings. After Worley walked Ike Davis to leave the bases loaded in the second, the short-sleeved right-hander was removed by manager Ron Gardenhire.
Pedro Hernandez relieved, and Buck drove a full-count pitch into the second deck of seats above left-center field to stretch the lead to 10-2.
"Those are tough holes, and we put ourselves in a big one tonight," Gardenhire said.
After hours of work by the grounds crew to prepare the field following three days of on-and-off snow, the ballpark was ready to use by the afternoon. The temperature at first pitch was 34 degrees, one lower than opening day. But that was a sunny afternoon. Flakes continued to fall throughout the night after tapering off from the snow-globe-like flurries that brightened up batting practice.
Enticed by free coffee and hot cocoa, Twins fans came layered in ski gear, hunting clothes and whatever else to keep warm. The announced attendance was 23,735, but that's tickets sold and not the actual number of people inside. Propane heaters whirred in the dugout, and most players had almost every inch of skin covered.
Except Worley, who prefers to work without sleeves. He allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out one. Seven of the runs he gave up were earned. He has lost a career-worst five straight decisions spanning seven starts since last Aug. 1 for Philadelphia.
"They're just hitting it where my guys aren't at," Worley said. "I feel I'm not giving up real hard hits. It's just a matter of where they're hitting it."
Worley's ERA jumped to 10.50. He has given up 17 runs over 12 innings and three starts with his new team. He threw 40 pitches in the first inning.
"That's a tough night. He's a tough guy out there, but it just didn't quite work out tonight," Gardenhire said. "You've just got to kind of move past that. He'll get the ball again in five or six days or whatever it is, and we'll go from there."
NOTES: The Mets set a record for most runs scored against an opposing pitcher who lasted one inning or less. ... Hernandez left in the sixth with a strained left calf muscle. He was already a candidate to be sent back to Triple-A Rochester, with LHP Scott Diamond set to come off the DL and start on Saturday. The weather is supposed to be dry but still cold. Diamond, a native of Ontario, Canada, said with a smile the air felt "refreshing" during early workouts before the game. ... The Twins have given up 16 first-inning runs in 10 games, the most in the majors. They've scored four. ... Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins faced his old club yet again. After making his debut for the Twins in 1995, the 40-year-old has played for nine teams since leaving after the 2003 season.
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