Alonso’s clutch hitting lifts Mets late

Backing deGrom’s 7 strong innings, All-Star 1B heating back up

August 18th, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Sometimes, Mets slugger said, you just need put yourself in the replay official’s hands.

Alonso hoped to be credited with his 40th homer in his remarkable rookie season during the Mets’ 4-1 win on Saturday night. The blast to right field in the seventh inning was called foul, but after the Mets challenged, everyone at Kauffman Stadium waited for one minute and 47 seconds.

“Only God knows if it was fair -- I don’t know,” Alonso said. “Usually, I have a pretty good look at it, but honestly, I had no idea. I just left it up to the replay.”

Alonso prepared himself to step in again against Royals sidewinding left-hander Tim Hill.

“I put myself in a mental state that they were going to call it foul,” Alonso said. “And if they had called it fair, I would have happily taken a fake swing and jogged around the bases.”

After replay officials confirmed the call on the field, Alonso went back to work. He watched a “pitcher’s pitch” sail by to bring the count full and took another swing -- but not for the fences. He drove the ball up the middle and, even though the ball didn’t leave the infield, two runs scored to give New York a two-run lead that broke a 1-1 tie.

Alonso later added a double and finished 3-for-5 in the Mets victory, which gave the club a chance at a series win on Sunday.

Jacob deGrom allowed one run, three hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts to pick up his eighth win. He said that he relied heavily on his slider for success most of his outing.

“It seems like everybody is hunting fastball,” deGrom said. “They can hit the slider, but it’ll get some soft contact if I make a good pitch with it.”

Juan Lagares had three hits, including a triple, and drove in a run for the Mets, who had dropped four of five coming in. After the Mets had fallen behind in the fourth, Joe Panik tied the game with an RBI single.

After struggling for most of the second half, Alonso has had two big games at the plate in recent days. He also had five hits and drove in six runs in the Mets’ win over the Braves on Thursday.

“I feel like I’m in a good place right now,” said Alonso, who came in batting .212 in 32 games after the All-Star break. “It’s a constant game of adjustments, and I’m going to work to try and keep up what I’m doing.”

On defense, Alonso misplayed a ball for an error in the fourth that helped the Royals score their lone run against deGrom. It was a tough, short-hop play on a backhand, but one that Alonso said he should have made. It had him shaking his head at the time, but he didn’t let it bother him at the plate.

“I try to make up for it at the plate,” said Alonso, who has 12 errors. “But the next time, I’ve got to do better.”

deGrom retired his first 10 batters until finding trouble in the fourth. The Royals tried to rally in the seventh with a pair of singles but Cheslor Cuthbert followed with a double play. deGrom has allowed three runs or fewer in 16 straight outings.

Kansas City’s Jakob Junis (8-11) allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings. The Mets had 11 hits in all.