Red-hot Pete Alonso belts two homers as Mets clip Marlins

Red-hot Pete Alonso belts two homers as Mets clip Marlins

MIAMI — Pete Alonso is a one-man rally these days.

It’s going so well for the Mets first baseman that when he doesn’t produce — as was the case when he popped out Saturday in the fifth inning with the bases loaded — it’s downright surprising.

Leave it to Alonso to redeem himself with his weapon of choice, a loud home run. Alonso’s second homer of the game, an eighth-inning blast, gave the Mets their final lead in a 5-3 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park.

With plenty of South Florida Mets fans in attendance to salute him with “MV-Pete” chants, Alonso delivered a haymaker, giving his team a second straight victory and fifth in six games against Miami.

Alonso leads the National League with 22 homers and 68 RBIs in a season that won’t reach the midway point until next weekend. His two blasts on this day gave him four, including a grand slam last weekend, over eight games.

Pete Alonso watches his solo homer in the second inning of the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Marlins.

Leading off the eighth, Alonso took Jimmy Yacabonis deep to snap a 3-3 tie after Zach Pop had fooled him in his previous at-bat with the bases loaded. A disgusted Alonso broke his bat over his knee following that fifth-inning at-bat.

“I just wanted to move on to the next AB, the next pitch and Pop to me, his stuff looked a lot sharper than last year,” Alonso said. “It’s not at all what I remembered, not at all what I saw on video. He came out with his big boy stuff. I felt prepared, but he won and I just was really upset because I swung kind of outside my zone and not trying to do that at all. … Thankfully I came through for my team later on with another chance.”

Manager Buck Showalter noted Alonso’s mental resolve.

“He doesn’t let one at-bat ruin his whole game,” Showalter said. “He was very frustrated with the bases-loaded situation. He doesn’t dwell on past successes and failures. He just keeps on grinding. I think that is a common denominator of guys who drive in runs.”

Pete Alonso connects on a solo homer in the second inning.
Pete Alonso connects on a solo homer in the second inning.

The Mets received a solid performance from Chris Bassitt, who held the Marlins to three earned runs on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts over seven innings. It was a third straight respectable outing for Bassitt, who may have hit rock bottom during a June 8 loss at San Diego in which he allowed seven earned runs over 3 ¹/₃ innings. In his three starts since then, Bassitt has pitched to a 2.53 ERA.

Bassitt was reunited with catcher James McCann, who returned to the lineup after spending more than a month on the injured list following wrist surgery.

“Everyone is happy to have him back,” Bassitt said. “He’s our guy. Any time you get one of them back, I am hopeful this is kind of the trend of us getting healthy rather than being hurt. It’s good to get these guys back.”

Chris Bassitt pitches on Saturday during the Mets' win over the Marlins.
Chris Bassitt pitches on Saturday during the Mets’ win over the Marlins.

Seth Lugo, in his first appearance in six days (he returned Friday from paternity leave), worked a perfect eighth — albeit pitching to loud contact — before Edwin Diaz collected his second save in as many days.

Alonso’s opposite-field homer leading off the second inning gave the Mets their first run. The Mets added runs in the fourth after Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor reached on a single and double, respectively, against Trevor Rogers to begin the inning. Mark Canha’s ground out brought in a run and Eduardo Escobar stroked an RBI single after JD Davis’ walk. Escobar’s contribution was welcomed given that he began play in a 4-for-36 (.111) slump.

Pete Alonso celebrates with Mark Canha.
Pete Alonso celebrates with Mark Canha.

But the Mets wasted an opportunity in the fifth to extend their lead, when Alonso popped out with the bases loaded before Canha struck out. Nimmo’s swinging bunt had started the rally before Marte and Lindor each singled to load the bases.

After Alonso’s homer leading off the eighth, the Mets extended their lead in the ninth on Nimmo’s RBI double, which brought in McCann.

The Marlins erased a three-run deficit on two swings against Bassitt in consecutive innings. In the fourth, Jesus Sanchez hit a two-run homer that pulled the Marlins within 3-2. In the fifth, Bryan De La Cruz’s solo blast tied it. The homers allowed were the first by Bassitt in four starts, giving him 13 surrendered for the season.

Marte helped set the tone defensively by throwing out Garrett Cooper, who was attempting to go from first to third on Jesus Aguilar’s single in the fourth.

“I thought this was one of our best defensive games of the year,” Showalter said. “[Escobar] had two or three plays, Louie [Guillorme] put on another clinic at second base, Pete had a big play. The outfielders ran some balls down. Lindor had a couple of good plays. When I look back on this game, other than Bassitt’s outing, I will think of the defensive play.”