OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Pete Alonso's calm and steady approach at the plate led to a clutch home run on the road that tied him with Dave Kingman for fifth overall in Mets history.
Alonso tied the score in the ninth inning with his major league-leading eighth homer, and New York beat the struggling Oakland Athletics 4-3 in 10 innings Sunday for a three-game sweep.
“To sweep somebody on the road, that’s extremely hard to do,” Alonso said. “It was a great team win. Pitched well, played great defense and we had some pretty big hits. We executed when we needed to.”
Eduardo Escobar scored the go-ahead run in the 10th on a wild pitch by Sam Moll (0-2). Francisco Lindor and Tommy Pham also homered for the Mets, who won their fourth straight and finished off their first sweep of the season.
Brandon Nimmo made two diving catches in center field, one that saved the game in the ninth. David Robertson pitched out of trouble in the 10th for his fourth save.
“There’s been three kind of different games but you always like when you end up on the good side of it,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
Lindor's third homer of the series came two days after he set a franchise record for shortstops with seven RBIs.
Alonso's solo shot tied it 3-all and matched Kingman for fifth place in Mets history with 154 home runs. Alonso, who has hit safely in nine of the last 10 games, went deep for the second consecutive day when he crushed a 2-1 pitch from Dany Jiménez to center field - one inning after the A's had gone ahead 3-2 on Shea Langelier's two-run double off John Curtiss.
Alonso's milestone home run was the 88th of his career on the road, matching Carlos Beltran for fifth-most by a Mets player.
“Not just on the road, but no matter where I am I want to be able to have a high-quality at-bat, be able to capitalize on pitches in my area, and I was able to do that in the ninth,” Alonso said.
Alonso's eight home runs through 16 games also matched Jeff Kent (1994) for most in franchise history.
“He’s just a consistent human being - home, away, spring training,” Showalter said. “Pete’s the same guy who walks through the door every day and (has) a real consistent mentality. He can take the emotion out of an at-bat and that’s important on the road.”
Jimmy Yacabonis (1-0) worked a scoreless inning to win his Mets debut.
Oakland (3-13) matched the 1951 and '56 teams for the worst 16-game start in franchise history.
Afterward, manager Mark Kotsay went through the clubhouse encouraging players with a quick check in or fist on their arm.
“We’re 1-10 in our last 11, so obviously not where we want to be,” starting pitcher JP Sears said. “We’ve got to get better, got to pitch better, and get deeper in the games with the starting staff to pick up the offense. They’ve been doing a good job the past week or so with their approach at the plate.”
Making his second major league start, José Butto allowed one run in five-plus innings for New York in his season debut. Butto was called up from the minors and inserted into the rotation when Max Scherzer was pushed back a few days due to a sore back.
Sears set down 13 straight before Lindor drove a 1-2 fastball into the left-field stands for his fourth home run. Sears permitted four hits and two runs in six innings.
Nimmo's defensive gems were as big a part of the victory as anything, Showalter noted.
“I wasn’t even sure he’d be able to get leather on the first one,” the manager said. “The second one I didn’t think he had any chance. Those are two good plays.”
Oakland left fielder Tony Kemp also came up big defensively and made a diving catch of Escobar’s sinking liner in the fifth.
50 YEARS LATER
The A’s held a pregame ceremony honoring their 1973 championship team that beat the Mets in the World Series. Among those in attendance were Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers.
Mets: Scherzer did some long tossing before the game and remains in line to start Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Athletics: Langeliers returned to the lineup after being limited to pinch-running duties Saturday.
Mets: LHP David Peterson (0-2, 4.91 ERA) faces the Dodgers for the first time in his career Monday in Los Angeles.
Athletics: LHP Kyle Muller (0-0 5.52) makes his fourth start of the season against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Muller has seven walks in 14 2/3 innings this season.
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