NEW YORK — Pete Alonso offered a loud introduction to a rivalry he is expected to impact for years to come.
The budding superstar demolished a three-run home run off Yankees starter James Paxton in the first inning in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Mets, who never trailed, flipped the script from Game 1, when the Yankees won by seven runs.
The Mets mashed their way to a 10-4 win over the Yankees to secure a split in Tuesday’s Subway Series doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Little did the Yankees that know Alonso’s homer was not an isolated incident, but would set the tone for the rest of the night.
After Sunday’s win over the Rockies, Dominic Smith joked that the Mets were excited to play in a ballpark that is “more fair” to hitters than Citi Field. His teammates sure made it seem so on Tuesday night, when J.D. Davis (two-run home run), Carlos Gómez (solo) and Alonso (three-run home run) left the yard.
By the time the bottom of the third rolled around, the Mets had a 6-0 lead. No advantage ever seems safe with this year’s Mets, but with the way Jason Vargas is pitching, you knew this club had a great chance to win.
Before this, the most earned runs Vargas had allowed in an outing this season was four. He entered with a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts.
Vargas allowed three runs in the third inning, which ended his 17-inning scoreless streak. One came on a Gleyber Torres RBI single, but the other two were ground balls that were hit in ways that made it difficult for the Mets to turn two (they got one out on each). Vargas, to his credit, never let it snowball and lasted six innings.
What might have been the most encouraging part of this victory for the Mets is how they kept adding runs after Alonso’s big fly.
Michael Conforto singled home a run in the third. The next batter, Wilson Ramos, looped one right over third baseman Gio Urshela’s head to score another. The Mets chased Paxton after 2 2/3 innings.
And when the Yankees pulled within three runs after the bottom of the third, Davis went to the opposite field to give the Mets a five-run lead. Gómez then sent a solo shot to right-center field an inning later, completing the barrage.
Too often this season, the Mets’ bats have started a game well, only to go cold and force the pitching to hold the opposition for too many innings. That did not happen in Tuesday’s nightcap, in which the Mets received a much better start from their starting pitcher than in Game 1.
The Mets will now head back across town to host a four-game set against the Cardinals. It will be intriguing to see if the Mets — who are 33-34 — can finally eclipse the .500 mark. Each time they come within a game, they fall back two or three under.
Tuesday’s Subway Series doubleheader did not begin well for the Mets, but in the second game, they did to the Yankees what the Yankees did to them in the afternoon.
These two next meet at Citi Field on July 2-3.
©2019 The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)
Visit The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) at www.NorthJersey.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.