Daniel Vogelbach hit a grand slam and Pete Alonso connected for his 28th homer, helping the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 9-5 on Wednesday.
New York won for the eighth time in nine games and opened a 3½-game lead over second-place Atlanta in the NL East. The teams begin a four-day, five-game series Thursday in New York.
Chris Bassitt (8-7) pitched seven shutout innings for New York, which finished with 14 hits.
Mychal Givens, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, entered in the ninth and surrendered solo homers to Keibert Ruiz and Lane Thomas in his Mets debut. Givens was charged with five runs, and Seth Lugo recorded the final out.
Washington lost for the fifth time in seven games a day after it traded star outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell to San Diego. The Nationals dropped to a major league-worst 36-70, including a 9-38 record against the NL East.
New York went ahead in the third when Francisco Lindor worked a nine-pitch walk against Aníbal Sánchez (0-4) and Alonso sent the next pitch over the wall in center. Alonso is 6 for 11 (.545) with three homers lifetime against Sánchez.
The Mets broke it open in the fifth after they loaded the bases on a walk, an error and an intentional pass to Alonso. Washington manager Dave Martinez then replaced Sánchez with Jordan Weems.
Vogelbach drove Weems’ fifth pitch into the Nationals’ bullpen in right for his third career grand slam. It was Vogelbach’s first homer since he was acquired in a July 22 trade with Pittsburgh.