Alonso hits 1st career HR to help Mets beat Marlins 7-3
MIAMI (AP) — The New York Mets poured it on.
Pete Alonso, their 230-pound rookie slugger, squeezed into a clubhouse cart as ordered by teammates for a postgame dousing that included every available substance.
“A couple of eggs,” Alonso said. “Barbecue sauce. Mayonnaise. Beer. Shaving cream. Maybe ketchup and mustard. Maybe relish.”
He didn’t mind because the shower was celebratory — a reward for his first major league homer. Alonso’s three-run shot capped a four-run ninth inning, and the Mets overcame 16 strikeouts by their hitters to rally past the Miami Marlins 7-3 Monday night.
Manager Mickey Callaway smiled watching Alonzo get the treatment for his first homer.
“We knew that was going to come at some point,” Callaway said. “It’s still a special occasion for a young player.”
While the Mets were giddy about a 3-1 start, Marlins manager Don Mattingly stewed about several calls. He was especially upset that plate umpire Sam Holbrook ruled Juan Lagares was hit by a two-strike pitch trying to bunt, which sparked the Mets’ ninth-inning rally.
Holbrook said Lagares didn’t offer at the pitch, and the ruling was upheld by a replay review.
“That was a shaky call,” Mattingly said. “Sam said he was trying to get out of the way. But he never pulled the bat back in any way, shape or form.”
Said Callaway: “I saw a guy trying to get out of the way of a fastball that was going to hit him in the face.”
Mattingly also complained that Holbrook missed two pitches by the Marlins that should have been strike three, calls that led to a Mets run.
“I’m not supposed to complain about calls, but the league needs to look at it,” Mattingly said. “I don’t understand a lot of it tonight. I understand the Marlins are not supposed to be good this year; I guess it’s OK to pile on.
“It’s got to be better than that.”
With the score 3-all, Mets pinch-hitter Dominic Smith singled to start the ninth. Drew Steckenrider (0-1) then came inside on Lagares as he squared to bunt, hitting him on the right hand.
Amed Rosario’s single put the Mets ahead, and on the next pitch, Alonso homered to center field.
Alonso led the minors last year with 36 homers and 119 RBIs. This year he’s batting .412 with six RBIs in four games, and Callaway has enjoyed watching outfielders react to his line drives.
“They all kind of just stand there like, ‘What’s it going to do?'” Callaway said. “The next thing you know, it’s over everybody’s head. It’s really incredible. There’s just true raw power there.”
Alonso said the postgame shower caught him by surprise.
“I didn’t know that was a thing until they told me to hop in the shopping cart and just poured whatever they could on me,” he said with a grin. “My eyes were stinging like really bad. I kept my mouth closed the entire time.”
Was it worth it?
“One hundred percent,” he said.
Lagares hit his first homer since Sept. 7, 2017. He missed most of last season due to a toe injury.
Starlin Castro hit a two-run homer for Miami, his first, and added an RBI single.
The Marlins loaded the bases with none out in the ninth against closer Edwin Diaz, who struck out the next three batters.
BACK ON THE MOUND
Miami’s Caleb Smith, making his first start since June 24, allowed two runs and struck out eight in five innings. His 2018 season was cut short by a strained left lat that required surgery.
Lagares appeared to avoid a significant injury when hit, and stayed in the game.
“It sounds like he’s going to be OK,” Callaway said.
Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes, sidelined until at least mid-July following surgery on both heels, was in the clubhouse before the game and was expected to take swings in the batting cage during the series.
Miami RHP Jose Urena (0-1, 9.64), who had a rough outing in an opening day loss to the Rockies, makes his second start of the season Tuesday against LHP Jason Vargas (7-9, 5.77 in 2018).