HOUSTON -- Pete Alonso has been dominant on the road. The 2016 second-round pick entered Tuesday slashing .279/.331/.566 away from Citi Field on the season.
Minute Maid Park, however, was a new challenge for Alonso, as it was the first time in his career that he faced the Astros in Houston.
Alonso impressed in the series opener, going 3-for-3 with a homer in the Mets’ 8-2 loss to the Astros.
“It felt good, it felt normal,” Alonso said. “I know it’s a dome, but we have a domed opponent in the Miami Marlins, and we also play Milwaukee once a year. Obviously, a little different than being in an open-air stadium but I felt good today.”
Alonso has had an incredible first half of the season, leading the Majors in RBIs with 65. He is nine away from tying the Mets’ record of most RBIs in the first half of the season (74), which David Wright set in 2006.
Alonso also became the third Mets player to record 60 or more RBIs before the All-Star break in multiple seasons, joining Carlos Beltrán and Wright.
The first baseman continued his productive stretch on Tuesday, producing runs as he has done most of the year with the long ball. Alonso displayed his power in the sixth inning with a solo shot to left field that traveled 413 feet with an exit velocity of 107.8 mph.
That homer brought his tally to 20 on the season, which leads the National League. It marked a milestone for the 27-year-old, as it was his 126th career long ball, which broke a tie with Lucas Duda for eighth on the Mets' all-time home runs list.
“It’s just about being disciplined over the plate and not giving in and swinging at anything outside the zone,” Alonso said. “It felt good off the bat.”
Alonso's impressive stretch includes a lot of success away from New York, with 12 homers and 35 RBIs on the road this season. It is not surprising given his career accomplishments on the road, including a .591 slugging percentage and a .955 OPS, which leads the franchise (minimum of 900 plate appearances).
“I just like to be the same guy every single day,” Alonso said. “I just want to take a good quality at-bat every single time I’m in the box and be locked in [for] every single pitch on the defense.”
Aside from Alonso, the bats were stymied as the Mets only managed just two runs, the other coming on Eduardo Escobar’s homer in the seventh inning. It was an oddity for the Mets as their hitting has been impressive in the first half of the season, leading MLB in hits (617), runs (350) and RBIs (334).
The matchup seemed favorable for the Mets, as they were facing José Urquidy, who had a 4.99 ERA entering Tuesday, but the team knew it was not going to be easy.
“Statistically, we knew he’s a lot better than he had shown coming in, so we knew he was going to get it going tonight,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “He was good tonight. We had some opportunities but could not cash them in.”
Alonso’s performance was not enough to overcome the Astros' hitting performance, which included three homers.
“Both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, did a good job today,” Alonso said. “They're a high-quality opponent and they won today. Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap."