NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso hit two home runs to take the major league lead, Jacob deGrom struck out 11 and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series for both teams.
The Diamondbacks began the day 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot and the Mets trailed by four. Chicago played later at San Diego.
Alonso hit a solo drive in the first inning, then connected for his 47th home run in the fifth. He moved two ahead Mike Trout for most in the majors and closed within five of Aaron Judge’s rookie record set two years ago.
Alonso recorded his fourth career multihomer game. The first baseman also set a team record by reaching base safely in his 34th consecutive game.
DeGrom (9-8) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He gave up a home run to former teammate Wilmer Flores in the fifth and little else.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner recorded his 41st career double-digit strikeout game and ninth this season.
DeGrom struck out multiple batters in four innings and reached double-digit strikeouts when he fanned Ketel Marte with a fastball for the first out of the sixth.
Seth Lugo pitched two innings for his fifth save.
Amed Rosario added an RBI single in between the Alonso homers.
Merrill Kelly (10-14) allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.
The Diamondbacks fell to 11-3 in their last 14 games and lost consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 21-24.
WELCOME BACK, WILMER
Flores made his first appearance in Citi Field since signing with Arizona in the offseason. He tipped his helmet after receiving a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the second inning.
Flores also got video tribute before the game that ended with Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” playing as the videoboard showed him embracing Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.
“It’s awesome,” Flores said before the game. “New York is always going to be home.”
Flores appeared in 581 regular-season games for the Mets since making his major league debut in August 2013. He is best known for his game-winning homer against the Washington Nationals on July 31, 2015, four days after nearly being traded to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez and breaking down in tears.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (blister, left middle finger) threw a bullpen session and will make his next start on Wednesday. . RHP Luke Weaver (right forearm tightness) will have a bullpen session Tuesday and could appear in a simulated game or a rehab game if there are no problems. . RHP Taijuan Walker (right elbow surgery) will have a bullpen session Tuesday.
Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (3-4, 2.50 ERA), who is one of three NL starters all-time to allow three earned runs or less in his first 13 games, opposes RHP Zack Wheeler (10-7, 4.33).
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