CINCINNATI (CBSNewYork/AP) — Pete Alonso hit his major league-leading 50th home run, Jacob deGrom pitched shutout ball for seven innings and the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-1 Friday night.
Amed Rosario hit a two-run homer and Jeff McNeil added a solo shot for the Mets, who opened the day 3 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card. The Brewers hosted Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Alonso is two homers shy of Yankees star Aaron Judge’s 2017 total for the rookie record. The right-handed hitter connected on a two-run blast in the eighth inning against reliever Sal Romano, reaching for a down-and-away pitch and lining it an estimated 437 feet to right-center field.
A special moment for a special player. ❄️🐻 pic.twitter.com/lGOdlSMwzm
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 21, 2019
“437? Plus a hundred,” Manager Mickey Callaway joked when reporters told him about the rookie’s historic blast. Callaway added that neither he or former Reds star-turned-Mets third baseman Todd Frazier had ever seen a ball land in that part of Great American Ball Park.
Alonso is the second rookie to reach 50 homers, and he leads Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez by two for most in the majors.
The Reds intentionally walked Alonso during New York’s three-run ninth.
Cincinnati rookie Aristides Aquino led off the ninth with a homer. The midseason call-up has 17 home runs in 49 games this season.
DeGrom (10-8) struck out nine and didn’t walk anybody to match his win total from last season, when he won the NL Cy Young Award. He could be a repeat winner after dropping his ERA to 2.51.
McNeil broke up the scoreless tie with his 23rd homer, a towering drive into the visitors’ bullpen down the right field line with one out in the sixth inning.
Rosario followed J.D. Davis’s two-out walk with a two-run shot to left-center field, his 14th homer.
Those were two of the three hits allowed by Luis Castillo in seven innings. Castillo (15-7) struck out seven and walked three.
RHP Robert Gsellman’s bullpen session went “extremely well,” manager Mickey Galloway said. A Saturday evalution will determine whether the next step is pitching live batting practice. Gsellman has been out since August 14 with right tricep tightness.
RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7) is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA over his last 10 starts. New York is 7-3 in those games.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)