Alonso powers Mets in return, deGrom beats Diamondbacks 6-2

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PHOENIX (AP)Pete Alonso homered and had four RBIs in his return from the injured list, Jacob deGrom pitched six shutout innings and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Alonso said it’s been impressive watching his team build a winning streak without him, but it felt much better to be helping out.

”I’m happy to join the party again,” he said.

Making his second start since coming off the IL, deGrom (4-2) allowed two hits while striking out eight and walking none. He lowered his ERA to 0.71, the best for a qualifying starter through May since Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Curt Short was at 0.64 in 1964.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner also had an RBI single for his ninth hit in eight starts this season. He was pulled after 70 pitches – deGrom came back last Tuesday after missing a couple of weeks with tightness on his right side.

”I feel like I could have kept going tonight, but discussing (with the coaching staff), we wanted to be smart with it,” deGrom said.

Alonso hit a two-run single in the third and a two-run homer in the seventh for his first four-RBI game since his rookie season in 2019. The big first baseman had been sidelined since May 19 with a sprained right hand, but returned to the injury-riddled Mets without a minor league rehab assignment.

”His presence is felt in the middle of the lineup,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. ”It’s something that we missed the past few weeks.”

Mason Williams, just promoted from the minors, made a tough catch at the center-field wall in his Mets debut to stop the Diamondbacks as they tried to rally in the seventh against New York’s bullpen.

Kevin Pillar, wearing a protective mask on defense and the basepaths, came off the bench and singled in an inspirational return to the NL East leaders two weeks after getting hit square in the nose by a 95 mph fastball, causing multiple facial fractures.

”It was huge,” deGrom said. ”Everyone was pumped for him.”

Said Rojas: ”That was an emotional moment for all of us.”

Billy McKinney also homered for the second consecutive game, and Jose Peraza had two hits and scored twice for New York.

DeGrom was scheduled to start Sunday night at home against Atlanta but the game was postponed because of rain. That hardly fazed the right-hander, who came out firing and hit 102 mph on the radar gun in the first inning. He retired his first 13 batters before Carson Kelly lined a clean single to center.

This season, deGrom has 84 strikeouts and a 0.53 WHIP in 51 innings. He has given up just four earned runs, 22 hits and seven walks.

The Mets got a gift in the fourth. Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (2-5) retired the first two batters before outfielders David Peralta and Ketel Marte misplayed Peraza’s fly and let the ball drop between them for a double. Then deGrom helped himself with an RBI single.

Arizona, which snapped a 13-game skid Sunday, has lost 17 of 19. The Diamondbacks finished 5-24 in May.

”We’ve got to tighten some things up around here,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”I know I have been saying that for probably two weeks. My challenge to these guys is to find a way to keep fighting, which they do, but take care of those little things. As frustrating as this game is, we have to find a way to turn the page.”

Kelly went 6 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on nine hits.

Eduardo Escobar hit his 13th homer for the Diamondbacks. Pavin Smith singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: Alonso and Pillar were activated from the 10-day injured list. RHP Seth Lugo (right elbow surgery) was reinstated from the 60-Day IL. OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Sam McWilliams were designated for assignment.

Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (elbow), on the injured list since May 12, will throw a bullpen Tuesday. … Lovullo said INF Asdrubal Cabrera (right hamstring strain) is progressing faster than expected, but there is still no timetable for his return.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Marcus Stroman (4-4, 2.47 ERA) starts the middle game of the series against LHP Caleb Smith (2-1, 3.27).

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