Young duo’s monster night gives Mets win they desperately need

ATLANTA — Pete Alonso’s body of work over the last week-plus was more than acceptable, but the slugging first baseman’s frustration had become evident to Mets officials.

To that end, manager Mickey Callaway met with Alonso recently to let him know he is carrying his weight.

“He’s getting kind of down about some of the outs he made,” Callaway said before the Mets beat the Braves 10-8 at SunTrust Park. “We had a long talk after the game [Wednesday] about it, but he’s performing better in the last 10 days than he did to make the All-Star team and I don’t think he quite felt that way, and that happens. You get disappointed if you don’t get a hit in a big situation, that takes its toll sometimes.”

Maybe the chat helped. In his first at-bat of the night, Alonso slugged homer No. 39 — a three-run blast against Julio Teheran — to tie Cody Bellinger’s National League rookie record established in 2017.

Alonso finished 5-for-5 with six RBIs in helping the Mets, who collected a season-high 23 hits, snap a three-game losing streak. Alonso became the third rookie in Mets history — Jeromy Burnitz (1993) and David Wright (2004) were the others — with six RBIs in a game.

Another topic of conversation between the player and manager was Alonso’s defense: he ranged too far into the hole in the seventh inning Wednesday on a grounder, leaving first base uncovered. Alonso has been too aggressive at times lately, according to Callaway, in fielding grounders.

“We talked a little bit about being aware of where the second baseman is around him and making sure that we don’t overplay balls,” Callaway said. “Just understand who is around you and get to the balls you’re going to get to and then get back to first on the ones the second baseman can get.”

Teheran, who entered with a 2.68 ERA in 29 career appearances against the Mets, was knocked out in the second inning after allowing six earned runs on eight hits and three walks.

Amed Rosario went 5-for-6 and finished within a homer of the cycle. He and Alonso became the first Mets duo to record five hits in the same game, and the first under-25 duo in MLB history since Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. and Omar Vizquel on July 18, 1991. Rosario is 67-for-189 (.354) over his last 49 games after a largely sluggish first half of the season at the plate and in the field.

Alonso homered into a pond beyond the center-field fence after Rosario had doubled leading off the game and Joe Panik singled him to third. But the Mets kept going in a second inning in which Teheran recorded only one out.

Marcus Stroman reached on an infield single during the inning and Rosario’s ensuing triple brought in the run. Teheran then walked Panik, Alonso and Michael Conforto to force in a run before Wilson Ramos’ RBI single gave the Mets a 6-0 lead. Josh Tomlin entered and got J.D. Davis to hit into a double play.

Todd Frazier homered leading off the third inning before the Mets entered cruise control in the fifth on Alonso’s two-run single that buried the Braves in a 9-2 hole. Alonso’s RBI single in the seventh extended the Mets’ lead to 10-3.

Stroman earned his first win with the Mets by pitching 5 ¹/₃ innings in which he allowed three runs (one unearned) on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Matt Joyce and Josh Donaldson each homered against Stroman. The unearned run scored in the third, after Rosario’s throw broke the webbing on Alonso’s glove, allowing Ozzie Albies to reach first.

The Mets nearly imploded in the ninth, with Drew Gagnon allowing five runs on three homers to cut the lead to 10-8, but Edwin Diaz recorded the final out to earn the save.

Source: Read Full Article