A two-game winning streak usually isn’t much to get excited about. But for the 2023 Mets, it’s cause for celebration. Maybe even some fireworks.
The Mets won their second game in a row for the first time in just over a month as they beat the Giants on Sunday night, 8-4, before 28,473 at Citi Field.
In winning the rubber match, the Mets took a series for the first time since May 30-June 1, when they swept the Phillies.
The Giants gave the Mets lots of help, with errors (charged and not) and walks and a hit batter, and to their credit, the Mets took full advantage to charge out to a 5-1 lead.
There were some scary moments in the late innings as the Giants mounted a rally, but the Mets got enough big outs to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
That’s when Pete Alonso, who earlier in the evening was named the Mets’ lone representative for the July 11 All-Star Game in Seattle, launched a made-for-TV two-run homer to left-center to make it 8-4. The drive carried 433 feet.
Alonso (2-for-4, walk, three RBIs) had announced during an in-game interview on ESPN that he was going to participate in the Home Run Derby. So his 25th home run was on-brand. “It’s not like one day fixes everything,” he said, “but today feels great.”
Trailing 1-0 after two hitless innings against opener Ross Stripling, the Mets put up three runs on one hit against wild Alex Wood in the third.
The Mets loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Francisco Alvarez, a hit by pitch of Brandon Nimmo and a walk to Tommy Pham (3-for-4, RBI).
Francisco Lindor lofted a short fly ball to center for the second out to bring up Alonso, who tied the score with a walk on 3-and-2 on the 10th pitch of the plate appearance.
Jeff McNeil followed with a grounder to the right of second baseman Thairo Estrada that the former Yankee fielded and threw to Brandon Crawford covering second. But Crawford missed the throw and two runs scored to give the Mets a 3-1 lead on what was scored a hit and an E-6.
David Peterson, who threw six shutout innings against Milwaukee his last time out in his recall from Triple-A, allowed one run and three hits in four innings. He walked three, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches. Of his 61 pitches, only 35 were strikes.
Mark Canha made it 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth with his sixth home run, a leadoff liner to left. Four batters later, with Nimmo on first, Pham floated a base hit to shallow right that skipped past Luis Matos for a gift RBI double.
After Grant Hartwig (1-1, first big-league win) tossed two shutout innings, Jeff Brigham gave up a two-run homer in the seventh to pinch hitter Blake Sabol to make it 5-3 and a one-out single to Estrada, after which he was removed and booed. Dominic Leone allowed an RBI double by former Met J.D. Davis.
The Mets added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Alonso doubled and scored on Starling Marte’s bloop single to center.
In the eighth, Adam Ottavino struck out Davis on three pitches with the bases loaded to end the inning. Ottavino had thrown six straight balls when he first came in, walking Wilmer Flores on the first four and hitting Estrada with the sixth.
“We pitched well enough to win,” Showalter said. “Made it interesting. Wasn’t always aesthetically pleasing, but we got it done.”
The Mets are off on Monday before visiting Arizona and San Diego for their last two series before the All-Star break.
“I think it’ll be a good plane ride and a good off day,” Showalter said. “What’s left of it.”