|Pete Alonso rounding the bases on his home run in the sixth inning, past Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer and pitcher Joe Musgrove, strolling behind the mound. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets won the finale of their three-game series with the San Diego Padres, 8-3, on Sunday night at Citi Field, avoiding a sweep, as Pete Alonso led the way with a home run, a double, and four RBI on the night.
The Mets improved to 59-37, as they gained ground in the National League East race, taking a 1 1/2 game lead over the Atlanta Braves (58-39), who lost the series finale of their three-game set with the Angels, 9-1, as they were attempting a sweep.
Carlos Carrasco got the start for the Mets in this one, and he threw five shutout innings, scattering six hits and two walks. The right-hander, who entered the game with a record of 10-4, watched the Padres load the bases with two outs in the first inning, as Manny Machado and Nomar Mazara singled and Luke Voit walked, and he got out of it by getting Eric Hosmer to ground out to second.
The Padres kept the pressure on, as they got two on base in the third with one out, when Jake Cronenworth dribbled one down the third base line, and Machado bounced one off Carrasco's legs, but Mazara hit into a double play to end that rally. Carrasco then got another double play, hit into by Hosmer, in the fourth.
San Diego starter Joe Musgrove entered this one with a record of 8-4 and a superb 2.42 ERA, and he lived up the billing, as he no-hit the Mets through the first four innings.
Daniel Vogelbach, in his Mets debut after being acquired by the Pirates on Friday, led off the fifth inning with a single for his first hit with the team. Mark Canha followed with a double, so the Mets were set up with runners on second and third bases and nobody out. Musgrove then got Luis Guillorme to ground out to first base, Tomas Nido to ground out to third, and Brandon Nimmo to ground to second to get out of the jam and keep the Mets off the board.
Drew Smith came on for the Mets in the top of the sixth, and he gave up a one-out single to Mazara, and then after Voit flew out to deep center field for the second out, Hosmer lined one down the third base line to bring in Mazara and make it 1-0 Padres.
In the bottom of the sixth, with Musgrove still in for San Diego, Starling Marte singled and Francisco Lindor, who struck out his first two at-bats, doubled to give the Mets the same situation they squandered in the fifth.
Pete Alonso was up next, and he took full advantage, as he launched his 25th home run to deep left field for a three-run shot to make it 3-1 Mets. The Mets first baseman also ran his RBI total to 81 for the season on the blast.
Jeff McNeil then grounded out to first before Vogelbach walked, and that was all for Musgrove's night.
With Nick Martinez in for San Diego, Canha grounded out to shortstop, which moved Vogelbach to third, and then Guillorme singled home the Mets designated hitter. Tomas Nido then hit a rocket up the right-center field gap, and Guillorme raced all the way from first to score and open up a 5-1 Mets lead.
Nimmo flew out to left to close an inning in which the Mets batted around, and knocked out the Padres ace Musgrove, whose final line was: 5 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts.
After Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless top of the seventh, the Mets picked up where they left off against Padres reliever Steven Wilson. Marte walked and Lindor singled to make it first and third for Alonso, and he came awfully close to having another three-run homer, as he hit it off the top of the right-center field fence, just out of the reach of Esteury Ruiz, for a double, which brought in Marte and made it 6-1 Mets.
After McNeil and Vogelbach each struck out, Canha kept the inning alive by beating out a grounder to third base, and Machado then fired it away to allowd both Lindor and Alonso to come around to score and make it 8-1 Mets. Canha got an RBI for the first run, and the second was unearned.
Drew Smith got the win to improve to 2-3, and after San Diego cut it to 8-5 in the ninth, Edwin Diaz earned his 21st save of the season.
On Tuesday night, the Mets host the Yankees in a two-game set to start the highly anticipated Subway Series between New York’s first place teams.