Pete Alonso went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in the New York Mets’ (25-14) 11-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals (20-17) on Wednesday night at Citi Field.
His contributions headlined the Mets’ two huge innings to put them over the top, plating four in the fifth inning and five in the eighth to ice it.
“It feels great,” Alonso said. “I take pride in driving guys in. That’s one of the things I really love doing and helping my team win.”
Such elation in Queens was diminished, though, when starting pitcher Max Scherzer was forced to leave his outing with two outs in the sixth inning due to left-side discomfort. He will undergo imaging on Thursday where the team will provide more updates.
“I was just kind of tight all today,” Scherzer said. “I just felt a zing in my left side and I knew I was done. I’ve never kind of had left side injury before so when I felt it, I knew there was no way you could throw another pitch so just get out of there.”
The Mets gave Scherzer an early 2-0 lead when Jeff McNeil pulled a two-run single with the bases loaded in the first inning.
However, the ace uncharacteristically gave it right back when Albert Pujols — his retirement tour in full swing — cued a soft liner that hit directly off the first-base bag to score a pair.
Tempers finally resurfaced between the two feuding sides after their benches-clearing altercation last month in St. Louis.
After Alonso was hit in the hand by Jordan Hicks in the first, Scherzer plunked Brendan Donovan in the leg in the top of the third — only for Hicks to retaliate by first buzzing Mark Canha with a high curveball before sending a 98-mph sinker into his ribs.
Canha was unhappy, gesticulating toward the Cardinals pitcher while Showalter came out of the dugout to deescalate the situation, though both benches were subsequently warned.
“Hit by pitch is just extra guys on base,” Alonso said. “It’s the same as a walk. Thankfully no one got hurt. Any way we can get on base and create havoc is a good thing.”
New York broke it open in the sixth in a four-run frame that began with a Canha walk and Francisco Lindor being hit by a pitch by Jake Walsh — the 28th Mets batter to be plunked this season. Walsh, however, was not ejected despite the previous warning from the umpires.
So the Mets made him pay.
Alonso drove in Canha with a single before an Escobar sacrifice fly plated Lindor with the bases loaded following a Jeff McNeil single.
McNeil moved to third on a Dom Smith single, scoring Alonso, and he came bounding home on a successful suicide squeeze pulled off by Luis Guillorme.
But with a four-run lead, the mood quickly soured when Scherzer called for a trainer during a showdown with Pujols, leaving the game with two outs in the sixth. Adam Ottavino set Pujols down on strikes to keep the Mets’ comfortable advantage intact.
“Once your body goes, you can’t pitch,” Scherzer said. “There’s nothing I could do.”
An already anxious night given the uncertainty of Scherzer got even nervier in the top of the eighth when Seth Lugo allowed a two-run home run to Nolan Arenado to halve St. Louis’ deficit to 6-4.
But the Mets came up with an immediate and swift answer, plating five in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach.
Brandon Nimmo, who was back in the lineup after suffering a right quad contusion in Tuesday night’s loss, ripped an RBI triple to left field. He came in to score on Canha’s second single of the day.
After Lindor walked, Alonso finally got a hold of one and sent a laser that just cleared the left-center-field fence for a three-run home run, his ninth of the season. It also upped his season RBI total to 33, tying him for the MLB lead, while capping off the big inning.
“We put together a lot of really good at-bats all night,” Alonso said. “We just kept putting each other in great RBI situations so it’s really, really awesome that we could come through like that… Great team offensive win… Just a huge team win.”