Mets beat Phillies behind Pete Alonso, Chris Bassitt

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pete Alonso has been at his best when it matters most, raising his game when the moment calls for it.

After the Mets dropped three of four to the Braves this week, the division matchup against the rising Phillies that began Friday night certainly mattered, and so the first baseman responded.

Alonso surpassed the 100 RBI mark and smashed his 30th home run of the season to power the Mets to a 7-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

The Mets bounced back nicely after those four games in Atlanta, in which they lost a series to an opponent from the NL East for the first time this year. With a 77-43 record, they remained 3 ¹/₂ games ahead of the Braves, who beat the Astros on Friday.

Pete Alonso hits a two-run homer against the Phillies in the third inning on Friday night at Philadelphia.
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“He wants to be everything to us every night,” manager Buck Showalter said of Alonso, who went 2-for-5 and finished the night tied with Aaron Judge for the major league lead with 102 RBIs. “He takes pride in defending himself, running the bases, driving in runs.

“Regardless of how he got here, you look up and see ‘100’ next to his name in the middle of August, it’s impressive.”

Alonso found a running back in scoring position three times and was successful twice, providing most of the offense to back up a solid Chris Bassitt and the Mets’ effective bullpen.

In the first inning, Alonso got the job done with an assist from Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm. The Mets had runners on the corners with one out, and Alonso grounded a ball down the line to Bohm, whose throw to second base bounced into right field.

The 100th RBI wasn’t the prettiest, but it counted nonetheless. Reaching the century mark in 119 games, Alonso is fourth-fastest in 100 RBIs in franchise history. Mike Piazza reached the mark in 103 games in 2000.

There was less luck involved in the third inning, when Alonso, with two out and Starling Marte on third, homered to put out Aaron Nola.

“It’s great, but I’m also trying to do my best to help this win,” said Alonso, whose 1.125 OPS with runners in scoring position was seventh-best in baseball at the end of the game. “I am very happy and satisfied with my consistency so far this year.”

After Alonso’s show, the Mets got creative to increase their lead.

Pete Alonso celebrates his two-run home run with Starling Marte on Friday night in Philadelphia.
Pete Alonso celebrates his two-run home run with Starling Marte on Friday night in Philadelphia.
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They honored the Massapequa Coast team and drew a Little League play later in the third inning. With runners in the corners, Francisco Lindor (3 of 5) went to second. When Phillies catcher JT Realmuto threw to the ground, Marte ran from third to home plate. A perfect pitch could have caught him, but Bryson Stott’s relief back to Realmuto was on the side of first base, and Marte slipped and snuck home safely.

The Mets added two runs in the seventh thanks to rookie Brett Baty and Showalter. After loading the bases, Showalter curiously pinch-ran with the slower Darin Ruf instead of the slightly slower Daniel Vogelbach at second base. The move looked brilliant when Baty advanced with a two-out single to right field, and Ruf slid past Nick Castellanos’ throw.

The work of Alonso and company led to Bassitt’s departure. Bassitt pitched six solid innings, in which he gave up two runs and threw out 104 pitches. Bassitt has pitched back-to-back games against the Phillies and has been effective in each one.

Chris Bassitt throws a pitch against the Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
Chris Bassitt throws a pitch against the Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.

“I try to do the same thing that’s working, but I know they’re looking at what I did last start, so it’s kind of a cat-and-mouse game,” said Bassitt, who has pitched four times against the Phillies this year. season and totaled 22²/₃ innings over four runs (1.59 ERA).

Bassitt extended his streak of not allowing earned runs to 28 innings before Philadelphia finally capitalized on a chance in the fifth inning.

After Bassitt hit Matt Vierling with a pitch, Bradley Zimmer’s perfectly placed slow grounder down the third-base line turned into a double. Notorious Mets killer Kyle Schwarber singled in two runs, but the Phillies’ scoring stopped there.

Bassitt passed Adam Ottavino, who passed Joely Rodriguez, who pitched a scoreless eighth before Trevor May pitched a scoreless ninth.

With a doubleheader ahead of them on Saturday, the Mets were lucky to be able to stay away from Edwin Diaz.

They were also lucky to have Alonso.

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