MIAMI — Looking for their hero of the day, the Mets went to a familiar call from their playbook: Pete and re-Pete.
Pete Alonso crushed two home runs, including the tiebreaking shot in the eighth inning, in the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Marlins on Saturday. He leads the National League and is tied for second in the majors with 22 homers.
The Mets (47-26) haven’t trailed at all through two games in this series. Their finale with the Marlins (32-38) is at noon Sunday.
“He’s dangerous. I mean, that’s why they’re where they’re at right now,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s dangerous and we’re not the only team he’s driving in runs against. He’s hurting a lot of people.”
Struggling against a parade of Miami relievers, the Mets got exactly what they needed when Alonso stepped to the plate against righthander Jimmy Yacabonis to begin the top of the eighth. Yacabonis left a sinker on the outer half of the plate — practically a carbon copy of the offering Alonso had taken for a strike two pitches earlier — and Alonso slammed it an estimated 433 feet to left-centerfield.
Many of the thousands of Mets fans in attendance, most of them sitting behind the visitors’ dugout on the first-base side, serenaded him with chants of “M-V-P!”
Of Alonso’s 41 hits against the Marlins, 19 have been homers. He has 10 home runs (including the first of his career) and an OPS over 1.000 in 21 games in Miami.
For Alonso, this latest success underscored the importance of learning from failure. He had been 0-for-12 lifetime (including 0-for-3 on Monday) against Marlins lefthander Trevor Rogers, who gave up the first homer, an opposite-field shot to right in the first inning. And just Friday night, Alonso had struck out swinging against Yacabonis.
“It’s all about seeing the baseball,” he said of Yacabonis, though he expressed the same sentiment about Rogers. “I had a really difficult time picking up his release point. Thankfully, I took a lesson from last night’s at-bat and tried it today, saw the ball a little bit better and saw the window where the ball is coming out of.”
Alonso added of Rogers, an All-Star last year who has a 5.86 ERA this year: “I hadn’t really necessarily figured out his release point until his last start . . . It was really nice to be able to see the ball well off a guy that’s got really good stuff.”
Seth Lugo, in his first appearance in five days after a stay on the paternity list, survived a dangerous bottom of the eighth. The Marlins hit two fly balls that stopped at the warning track. Edwin Diaz struck out the side and threw the two fastest pitches of his career — 102.6 and 102.2 mph — in the ninth.
The Mets smacked around Rogers, a cousin of former longtime major-league outfielder Cody Ross, for three runs and seven hits in 4 1⁄3 innings.
Chris Bassitt (seven innings, three runs) coughed up a three-run lead via a pair of homers, from Jesus Sanchez in the fourth and Bryan De La Cruz in the fifth. But he was highly efficient, averaging less than 13 pitches in his seven innings.
“My philosophy always is just try to eat as many innings as possible,” Bassitt said. “It makes tomorrow’s game a lot easier.”
Sanchez’s home run might have hurt more if Marte had not thrown out Garrett Cooper at third base on Jesus Aguilar’s soft single to rightfield.
“He’s got a cannon,” Bassitt said of Marte. “You run on him, you better be safe.”
Bassitt’s batterymate was James McCann, who played in his first game since May 10, having missed a month and a half with a broken left wrist that required surgery. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored, slapping a single to rightfield in the ninth.
“Everyone is happy to have him back,” Bassitt said. “He’s our guy.”