MIAMI — Pete Alonso is a one-man rally these days.
Things are going so well for the Mets first baseman that it’s downright surprising when he doesn’t produce — as was the case when he showed up with loaded bases in the fifth inning on Saturday.
Leave 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 win over the Marlins at LoanDepot Park.
With many South Florida Mets fans in attendance greeting him with “MV-Pete” chants, Alonso delivered a haymaker and gave his team a second straight win and fifth in six games against Miami.
Alonso leads the National League with 22 home runs and 68 RBIs in a season that won’t reach halftime until next weekend. His two blasts that day earned him four, including a grand slam last weekend, in eight games.
Alonso ushered in eighth and took Jimmy Yacabonis deep to earn a 3-3 tie after Zach Pop fooled him in his previous at-bat with loaded bases. A disgusted Alonso broke the racquet above his knee after that fifth inning.
“I just wanted to go to the next AB, next pitch and pop for 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 the video. He came out with his big boy stuff. I felt prepared but he won and I was just really upset because I was kind of swinging outside of my zone and wasn’t trying at all. … Luckily I came through later with another chance for my team.”
Manager Buck Showalter noted Alonso’s mental determination.
“He doesn’t let one racquet ruin his entire game,” Showalter said. “He was very frustrated with the base loaded situation. He doesn’t dwell on past successes and failures. He just keeps grinding. I think that’s a common denominator of guys who do runs.”
The Mets received a solid performance from Chris Bassitt, who held the Marlins on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts over seven innings on three earned runs. It was a third respectable straight game for Bassitt, who may have bottomed out during a June 8 loss in San Diego in which he conceded seven earned runs over 3¹/₃ innings. In his three starts since then, Bassitt has achieved 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’s glad to have him back,” Bassitt said. “He’s our man. Any time you get one of them back, I’m confident that it’s some kind of trend that we’re getting well instead of getting hurt. It’s good to get these guys back.”
Seth Lugo, in his first appearance in six days (he returned from paternity leave on Friday), worked a perfect eighth – albeit too loud contact – before Edwin Diaz collected his second save in as many days.
Alonso’s backfield homer, which led the second inning, gave the Mets their first run. The Mets added runs in the fourth after Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor grabbed a singles and a doubles, respectively, against Trevor Rogers to start the inning. Mark Canha’s ground-out brought a run and Eduardo Escobar stroked an RBI single after JD Davis’ walk. Escobar’s contribution was welcomed as he started the game in a 4-to-36 (.111) slump.
But the Mets missed an opportunity to extend their lead in the fifth when Alonso came up with bases loaded before Canha struck. Nimmo’s swinging Bunt had started the rally before Marte and Lindor went off one by one to load the bases.
After Alonso’s homer led away from eighth, the Mets extended their lead in the ninth over Nimmo’s RBI double, which McCann earned.
The Marlins erased a three-run deficit on two swings against Bassitt in back-to-back innings. In the fourth, Jesus Sanchez hit a two-barrel homer that drew the Marlins to 3-2. In the fifth, Bryan De La Cruz’s solo crack equalized. The allowed home runs were Bassitt’s first in four starts, giving him 13 given up for the season.
Marte helped set the tone defensively by knocking out Garrett Cooper, who was attempting to move from first to third on Jesus Aguilar’s fourth single.
“I thought that was one of our best defensive plays of the year,” Showalter said. “[Escobar] had two or three plays, Louie [Guillorme] Picked up at another clinic on second base, Pete had a big game. The outfielders ran down a few balls. Lindor had a few good plays. Looking back on that game, apart from Bassitt’s performance, I’ll think about the defensive play.