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 in Saturday’s fifth inning with the bases loaded (he popped out) — 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 the lead for good in a 5-3 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park.
With plenty of South Florida Mets fans in attendance to salute him with “M-V-Pete” chants, Alonso delivered a haymaker, giving his team a second straight victory and fifth in six games against Miami over the past nine days.
Alonso leads the National League with 22 homers and 68 RBIs in a season that won’t reach the midway point until next weekend.
The Mets received a solid performance from Chris Bassitt, who held the Marlins to three earned runs on six hits — he did not walk a batter — with five strikeouts over seven innings. It was a third straight respectable outing for Bassitt, who may have hit rock bottom in a June 8 loss in 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.
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 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 J.D. Davis’ walk. Escobar’s contribution was welcomed given that he began play in a 4-for-36 (.111) slump.
But the Mets wasted an opportunity in the fifth to extend their lead. Alonso popped out with the bases loaded — and snapped his already cracked bat over his knee in disgust — before Canha struck out. Nimmo’s swinging bunt had started the rally, and 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 Brandon Nimmo’s RBI double that brought in James 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.