NEW YORK -- Pete Alonso sent a couple of more pitches flying into the seats, while Jacob deGrom's tosses kept darting in and out of the strike zone.
It all added up to a crucial victory for the Mets.
Alonso hit two home runs to take sole possession of the major league lead, deGrom struck out 11 and New York beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Monday night in the opener of an important four-game series for both teams.
The Diamondbacks began the day 11/2 games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot, and the Mets trailed by four. Chicago played later Monday night at San Diego.
Alonso hit a solo drive in the first inning, then connected for his 47th home run in the fifth. He moved two ahead of Mike Trout for most in the majors and closed within five of Aaron Judge's rookie record set two years ago.
"When they throw him strikes, he's going to hit the ball hard," Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said. "That's first and foremost. There's got to be some anxiety with pitchers having to face Pete. So, if he doesn't get on via hit, he's getting on via walk. He's just a great hitter."
Alonso set a team record by reaching base safely in his 34th consecutive game. The first baseman recorded his fourth career multihomer game and joined Daryl Strawberry as the only Mets rookie to get four multihomer games.
"We just made some mistakes in the wrong inning at the wrong time, and he took advantage of them," Arizona Manager Torey Lovullo said.
DeGrom (9-8) allowed 1 run and 3 hits in 7 innings. He gave up a home run to former teammate Wilmer Flores in the fifth and little else.
"For him to throw the ball the way he did tonight, that was awesome," Alonso said. "That's Cy Young, vintage Jake deGrom right there. That was really special."
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner recorded his 41st career double-digit strikeout game and ninth this season, tying Max Scherzer for the league lead. DeGrom struck out multiple batters in four innings and reached double-digit strikeouts when he fanned Ketel Marte with a fastball for the first out of the sixth.
DeGrom achieved his latest dominant performance by throwing his off-speed pitches more often. He threw his slider and changeup 57 times and got nine strikeouts on those pitches, including two to Marte, who struck out four times.
"It had a lot of movement tonight, probably more than it's had all year," deGrom said. "So I think we saw that early and kind of stuck with it."
DeGrom also pitched at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer for the ninth time this year. Only Justin Verlander and Patrick Corbin have done it 10 times.
Seth Lugo pitched two innings for his fifth save.
Amed Rosario added an RBI single in between the Alonso homers.
BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 2 Mike Foltynewicz threw seven strong innings, Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit home runs, and NL East-leading Atlanta beat host Philadelphia. Atlanta increased its lead over Washington to 9½ games and reduced its magic number to 10 with 17 games remaining.
BREWERS 8, MARLINS 3 Rookie Trent Grisham had a career-high five hits and drove in two runs, and visiting Milwaukee won its fourth game in a row by defeating Miami. Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run home run, and Lorenzo Cain had three hits and knocked in a run for the Brewers.
YANKEES 5, RED SOX 0 Visiting New York officially ended Boston's three-year reign as American League East champs, blanking the Red Sox behind another big effort by James Paxton. Boston dropped 18½ games behind the division-leading Yankees with 18 games left.
ASTROS 15, ATHLETICS 0 Host Houston hit seven home runs to extend its lead in the AL West to 101/2 games over visiting Oakland. Robinson Chirinos and Yordany Alvarez went deep twice, and Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve each hit one home run.
Sports on 09/10/2019
Print Headline: Alonso re-establishes HR lead to power Mets