Alonso hits game-ending HR, Mets sweep Nats in doubleheader
NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso hit a game-ending homer with one out in the seventh inning and the New York Mets quickly bounced back from blowing the lead, beating the Washington Nationals 5-4 Thursday for a doubleheader sweep.
The Mets won the opener 4-1 as Brandon Nimmo homered and drove in four runs and Marcus Stroman took a shutout into the sixth.
New York took a 4-1 lead, too, into the seventh of the second game before the Nationals rallied against Trevor May and Jeurys Familia (6-2). A run-scoring wild pitch by Familia and Andrew Stevenson’s two-out, two-run single tied it.
Alonso capped a long, humid day with his 25th homer, lifting a 2-0 sinker from Kyle Finnegan (4-4) for a high-arcing drive to left field beyond the leaping try of Stevenson.
Alonso homered after skies cleared up. The Mets batted in the eighth as the sky became cloudy and heavier winds started.
“I know I clipped it pretty good when I got it,” Alonso said. “I saw it go up. With the winds here because it was pretty storming, it was like a hurricane winds there.”
“I didn’t know if any of those winds or those false winds were kind of still swirling around in the stadium. So, I know I hit it pretty well but I didn’t know if it was going to go just because of the environment, but really happy over the wall,” he said.
Alonso flung his helmet in the air and was mobbed by teammates at the plate. Before heading into the clubhouse, the two-time Home Run Derby champ ripped off his jersey to the cheers of fans.
It was Alonso’s second career game-ending homer and fourth game-ending hit.
“I’m so happy for Pete to come through in that last game,” Nimmo said. “That’s huge.”
Heading into a stretch of 13 straight games against talented NL West teams San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Mets won their third straight, their best string since taking three in a row from June 14-16.
“This is kind of a show-me stretch,” Alonso said.
The three-game sweep of the Nats followed a recent rut of seven losses in eight games that dropped the Mets out of the NL East lead.
New York scored 17 runs in the sweep of the Nationals and won twice in its final at-bat. Alonso got six hits in the series after an 0-for-21 slump.
“I think this team showed over and over again this season, the fight that they have,” Nimmo said. “We just continue to just try and not give up.”
Washington, which traded away eight players at the deadline, lost for the 16th time in 21 games.
“He swings hard, he got just enough on it,” Finnegan said.
Trevor Williams allowed one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings and became the 18th starter used by New York this season. The team record is 20 set in 1967, Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s rookie season.
Jonathan Villar hit his 13th homer, connecting off Tanner Rainey for a two-run drive that put New York ahead 4-1 in the opener.
Nimmo tied a career high with four RBIs. He hit a three-run homer in the second against Sean Nolin (0-1) and singled in the fourth to make it 4-0.
“It’s cool to have games like that,” Nimmo said.
Stroman (8-11) allowed one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings to break a three-start losing streak. He struck out eight and walked two.
Stroman had a bunt single in the third that eluded Nolin on the third base side of the mound as Nationals third baseman Carter Kieboom played back. Nimmo followed by hitting Nolin’s full-count cutter over the right-field fence.
Edwin Díaz tossed a scoreless seventh for his 25th save in 29 chances.
Victor Robles hit an RBI double for Washington.
Andres Machado replaced Nolin and hit his first batter, Alonso, on the hand with a 95 mph fastball.
Alonso fell down and said something to Machado, and a few Mets jumped over the dugout railing. Umpires spoke to Machado briefly and things did not escalate further.
COUNT TO 12
Thursday was the Mets’ 12th doubleheader and they have two more remaining, on Aug. 31 against Miami and Sept. 4 in Washington. New York has swept three doubleheaders and split the other nine.
In the opener, Nolin allowed four runs and eight hits over three-plus innings in his first major league appearance since Oct. 3, 2015, with Oakland.
“I definitely wasn’t as nervous this time,” Nolin said. “I feel like I had a lot of positive, good energy. Just the last couple of days and early morning probably helped as well, but I wasn’t too overenergetic.”
Mets: SS Javier Báez (lower back) was held out of the lineup.
Nationals: Washington did not announce a starter for Friday’s series opener against Atlanta.
Mets: Rookie RHP Tylor Megill (1-2, 3.20 ERA) opposes Los Angeles LHP Julio Urías (13-3, 3.41) in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
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