PHILADELPHIA – Pete Alonso watched his latest milestone home run land 353 feet away in the third row of the left field seats to put the New York Mets in control and a rare setback well behind them.
Alonso hit his 30th home run and surpassed 100 RBIs, Starling Marte stole home and the Mets continued their season-long mastery of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 7-2 win on Friday night.
“It's great,” Alonso said of his big numbers. “But also, I'm just trying to do the best I can to help this team win."
Unassuming, perhaps. But Alonso is paid to hit, not fill the notebook.
The Mets were coming off their first series loss of the season after dropping three of four to Atlanta. The cure, as it seems to be this season, was a date with the Phillies.
The NL East-leading Mets improved to 12-4 against the Phillies this season -- 5-2 in Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s wild-card chase could be on shaky ground with three more games this weekend against the Mets.
The Mets won two of three against the Phillies last weekend in New York; the highlight a 1-0 win that spoiled Philadelphia right-hander Aaron Nola’s mostly masterful complete game.
Nola (8-10) couldn’t come close to matching that start.
He caught some bad luck in the first when third baseman Alec Bohm’s throwing error on Alonso’s fielder's choice -- his 10th error out of 51 for the Phillies -- led to a run in the first inning. Alonso anticlimactically reached 100 RBIs.
That sparked loud chants of “Let’s go Mets!” from many of the New York faithful among the sellout crowd of 43,176 at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets cheer was quickly drowned out by boos.
The boos soon turned toward the home team.
“I don’t know what it is,” interim Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “Some teams just have other teams' numbers.”
Alonso lined a two-run shot to left in the third and became the fifth player in Mets history with multiple 30-home run seasons. He joined New York long ball specialists Mike Piazza, Howard Johnson, Darryl Strawberry and Dave Kingman on that list.
“I'm really happy and satisfied with my consistency this year,” Alonso said.
The homer gave him 102 RBIs and Alonso joined David Wright as the only Mets with multiple 100-RBI seasons within their first four years in the league.
“You look up there and see 100 next to his name in the middle of August, it’s impressive," Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
Alonso just might get to 40 homers this season at this rate. He might have if he could face Nola a few more times. Alsonso has five career home runs against Nola. No other major leaguer has more than three against the veteran.
Alonso could at least chase down Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber for the NL lead. Schwarber, who has 34 homers, had been reduced to two pinch-hit appearances since he strained his right calf last week. Schwarber was back in his leadoff spot and did rip a two-RBI single to right in the fifth.
“We've just got to try and find a way to win a baseball game,” Schwarber said.
The Phillies left nine runners stranded and mustered little offense against Chris Bassitt (11-7). Bassitt, who had not allowed an earned run over his last 24 innings, gave up seven hits and threw 104 pitches in six innings.
Bassitt did enough to get help the Mets put the Atlanta disappointment behind them.
“We respect the Braves,” he said, “but we can't really worry about what they're doing.”
Marte made it 5-0 in the fifth on a mad dash toward home on the back end of a double steal and Brett Baty, who homered against Atlanta in his first major league at-bat, added a two-run single in the seventh for a 7-2 lead.
The Mets are now 32-10 in games following a loss and are 41-8 against NL East teams.
Phillies: Looks who’s (almost) back: 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper took about 60 swings in the batting cage Friday and is on track for a rehab assignment next week in his return from a broken left thumb.
“It looked really good. Bat speed’s there, he said it felt good,” Thomson said.
Let’s play two! The Phillies send RHP Zack Wheeler (11-6, 2.92 ERA) to the mound in the first game of a doubleheader and LHP Baily Falter (0-3, 4.85) starts the second. The Mets did not announce the order of LHP David Peterson (6-2, 3.30) and RHP Trevor Williams (2-5, 3.02).
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