Alonso’s 1st ‘granny’ helps Mets top Nats 5-0

  • New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • New York Mets’ Pete Alonso flips his bat as he watches his grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Pete Alonso twirled his bat like a baton to mark his first career grand slam.

After all, the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year explained, “‘Grannies’ are sick.”

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Then, after a chest bump and forearm bash that were part of the choreography with teammates at home plate to celebrate the big blow in the New York Mets’ 5-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night, Alonso put one index finger, then the other, to his lips.

Who was he telling to hush?

“That was directed at the Nats fans,” Alonso said, “and the opposing team.”

Chris Bassitt (1-0) cruised through six innings in his Mets debut, and New York won its third straight to open Buck Showalter’s tenure as manager. The Mets, 3-0 for the first time since 2012, have outscored Washington 17-4 and go for a series sweep Sunday.

“The payroll is one thing; you obviously expect a lot of talent,” said Bassitt, who was acquired from Oakland in a trade last month and greeted in the hallway outside the visitors’ clubhouse Saturday night by a group of about 10 friends and relatives. “But, I mean, we’ve got two guys with completely busted mouths already, two games in, and they’re in the lineup the next day. To be on a team that wants go grind as hard as this team — good luck.”

He was referring to Alonso — his lower lip was bloodied by a pitch on opening day — and star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who took a ball off his jaw Friday night, leading to a benches-clearing interruption. In all, Nationals pitchers have plunked five batters through three games, including Starling Marte, who was struck by a breaking ball in the second inning Saturday.

“It’s not intentional,” Showalter said. “But still doesn’t make you happy.”

The Nationals are 0-3 for the first time since 2009, a season they would wind up losing 103 games.

“We’re going to be fine,” designated hitter Nelson Cruz said.

Saturday’s game was scoreless in the fifth when New York loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks against Joan Adon (0-1), whose first big league appearance came on the last day of the 2021 regular season. That brought up Alonso, who hit 53 homers in 2019, and a group of Mets fans near the visiting dugout sang a chorus of his full name, clearly audible on a night when the total attendance was announced at merely 21,369.

Adon threw a 91 mph fastball — “Just missed a little bit and it ran over the plate,” the right-hander said — and Alonso sent a towering shot beyond left field.

“One those (that) everybody hops out of the dugout to watch it,” Showalter said.

“Sometimes we lose sight of the guts it takes — whether you’ve been hit or not hit — to get into a major league batter’s box, with these guys throwing like this, and stay in there,” the skipper said. “That’s why people have so much emotional stir when things happen that puts them in harm’s way.”

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Washington wore its dark gray “City Connect” uniforms with cherry blossom petals for the first time. Juan Soto, last year’s NL MVP runner-up who had two hits Saturday, wore cleats showing blossoms.

LINDOR IN THE LINEUP

Lindor was back in the lineup after going through fielding drills several hours before game time. He hadn’t been checked by a dentist yet but thinks he might have a cracked tooth.

“I tried to eat and it hurt a lot. Hopefully, when I get to New York, I’ll get it taken care of. It hurts like if I had a cavity,” Lindor said, then added with a smile: “Hopefully the Mets have good insurance.”

He went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks; in the field, he was charged with an error when he dropped a toss while covering second base.

BEREAVEMENT

Mets closer Edwin Díaz left the team to go to Puerto Rico after the death of his grandfather. Díaz was put on the bereavement list. Lefty David Peterson was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Showalter said Díaz could return to the Mets on Monday in Philadelphia. He would be eligible to play as of Tuesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Mason Thompson left after throwing three pitches because of a right biceps issue. He will have an MRI exam Sunday. … RHP Aníbal Sánchez might not be able to make his first start of the season Monday at Atlanta because he came down with a stiff neck on the flight from Florida to Washington at the end of spring training.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Carlos Carrasco faces Nationals RHP Erick Fedde on Sunday.

YANKEES 4, RED SOX 2

NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton became the first player to homer against Boston in six straight games, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the sixth inning that gave the New York Yankees a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday.

Anthony Rizzo homered for the second straight day to start New York’s comeback from an early deficit, a tying two-run drive in the fourth. Luis Severino made his first start for the Yankees since the 2019 AL Championship Series as the Yankees improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2018.

Stanton broke a 2-2 tie when he drove an 0-1 slider from Nick Pivetta (0-1). Stanton and Rizzo became the first players in Yankees history to homer together in both of a season’s first two games.

Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer off Severino, who was followed by six relievers. Lucas Luetge (1-0) pitched the sixth, and Aroldis Chapman worked around a throwing error by new shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa for his first save.

BLUE JAYS 4, RANGERS 3

TORONTO — Pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, Bo Bichette hit a solo home run and Toronto beat Texas.

George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. each had two hits, and Bichette scored twice as the Blue Jays improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2016.

Facing left-hander Brett Martin (0-1), Espinal hit for Cavan Biggio with a runner at first and two out. Speedy Raimel Tapia scored without a play at the plate on Espinal’s double to left-center.

Blue Jays right-hander Trevor Richards (1-0) worked one inning for the win. Yimi García pitched the seventh, Tim Mayza worked the eighth, and Jordan Romano finished for his second save.

ANGELS 2, ASTROS 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Noah Syndergaard pitched two-hit ball into the sixth inning in a strong Los Angeles debut, narrowly outdueling fellow Tommy John surgery returnee Justin Verlander.

Mike Trout and Jared Walsh homered in the Angels’ first victory of the season. The Halos held defending AL champion Houston to two hits, with Raisel Iglesias’ save capping 3 2/3 hitless innings from the bullpen.

Syndergaard (1-0) and Verlander (0-1) both are back this season from lengthy absences after elbow surgery, and both veterans performed impressively at Angel Stadium.

Syndergaard yielded two weak singles and two walks over 5 1/3 innings. While the imposing right-hander known as Thor had just one strikeout, he induced 11 groundouts from the Astros’ powerful lineup.

MARLINS 2, GIANTS 1

SAN FRANCISCO — Jesús Sánchez hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, and Miami held on to beat San Francisco despite a strong outing from starter Carlos Rodón in his Giants debut.

The All-Star left-hander struck out 12 and allowed one run in five innings. His Ks are the most by a Giants pitcher through five innings since at least 1974.

Miami starter Pablo López, winless in six starts against the Giants, retired 14 of the first 15 and allowed one run in five innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Sánchez’s hit came off Jake McGee (0-1).

Steven Okert (1-0) struck out all four batters he faced to win. Anthony Bender earned his first save after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth.

CUBS 9, BREWERS 0

CHICAGO — Seiya Suzuki drove in three runs for his first big league RBIs and Chicago beat Milwaukee for a testy win during which five batters were hit by pitches and the benches cleared.

The teams exchanged words but no punches in the eighth after Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch from Cubs reliever Keegan Thompson, who was ejected for the first time in his career. As McCutchen slowly headed to first base while looking at Thompson, players from both bullpens ran onto the field.

Justin Steele (1-0) struck out five in five scoreless innings for the rebuilding Cubs. The left-hander was 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA in his first major league season in 2021.

Brandon Woodruff (0-1) struggled for the reigning NL Central champions. The right-hander allowed seven runs, six hits and three walks, striking out two in 3 2/3 innings for his shortest outing since Aug. 12, also against the Cubs.

CARDINALS 6, PIRATES 2

ST. LOUIS — Nolan Arenado hit three doubles and a single, Paul DeJong homered and St. Louis, minus its rookie manager, beat Pittsburgh.

Oliver Marmol, a winner in his debut Thursday as a major league manager, was at Busch Stadium before the game and diagnosed with the flu. He tested negative for COVID-19 and left the ballpark, and bench coach Skip Schumaker filled in.

Relievers Kody Whitley (1-0), Nick Wittgren, T.J. McFarland and Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos combined to throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

Mitch Keller (0-1) allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in four innings.

MARINERS 4, TWINS 3

MINNEAPOLIS — Ty France had three hits and drove in two runs, including a go-ahead single in the ninth inning that lifted Seattle over Minnesota.

Byron Buxton had given the Twins a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer in eighth against Andrés Muñoz (1-0), who got his first big league decision since 2019 with San Diego.

Julio Rodríguez, a 21-year-old rookie, doubled opening the ninth off Tyler Duffey (0-1) for his first major league hit. He scored on a double by Adam Frazier, who came around on France’s single.

Diego Castillo struck out two in a perfecr ninth for his first save, and the Mariners opened the season with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2019.

ROCKIES 3, DODGERS 2

DENVER — Connor Joe drove in two runs, including a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth inning, and closer Daniel Bard struck out the side in the ninth to help Colorado beat Los Angeles.

Joe lined a cutter from reliever Blake Treinen (0-1) into the seats in left-center. The Rockies first baseman also had an RBI single in the sixth.

Ryan McMahon also came through in the first when his single scored Kris Bryant, whose slide at the plate knocked the ball out of catcher Austin Barnes’ glove.

Colomé gave way to Carlos Estévez (1-0), who retired Max Muncy with the bases loaded to end the threat. Bard fanned Justin Turner, Edwin Ríos and Cody Bellinger to earn the save.

RAYS 5, ORIOLES 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Francisco Mejía homered and drove in three runs, helping Tampa Bay win its 14th straight against Baltimore.

The two-time defending AL East champions improved to 20-1 against the Orioles since the start of the 2021, and the 14-game winning streak that began last July is the longest against a single opponent in Rays history.

Mejía delivered an RBI single in the second and a two-run homer off Jordan Lyles (0-1) in the third.

Reliever Josh Fleming (1-0) inherited a three-run lead and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings, while allowing three hits and striking out five. Andrew Kittredge yielded a run-scoring double to Jorge Mateo in the ninth before getting the save.

ROYALS 1, GUARDIANS 0, 10 innings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Prized rookie Bobby Witt Jr. made an eye-popping play at third base to nail a runner at the plate in the top of the 10th inning, then Adalberto Mondesi’s RBI single in the bottom half lifted Kansas City over Cleveland.

With a runner at third and one out in the Cleveland 10th, Oscar Mercado hit a hard grounder down the line that looked like it might break the scoreless tie. But the 21-year-old Witt, the top-rated prospect in the majors, skidded onto his knees to make a backhanded stop. All in one motion, he made an off-balance throw home, where All-Star catcher Salvador Perez backhanded the ball on the second hop and made a swipe tag to get Owen Miller.

Kyle Isbel began the bottom half as the automatic runner at second base and moved to third on a single by Hunter Dozier. Mondesi followed with his single to center off Emmanuel Clase (0-1).

Snider (1-0) pitched one inning in his major league debut.

BRAVES 2, REDS 1

ATLANTA — Kyle Wright picked up a World Series ring along with many of his Atlanta teammates, then pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings against Cincinnati.

Wright (1-0) struck out six and walked one. He retired 10 consecutive batters before walking Tommy Pham to open the seventh.

A.J. Minter got three straight outs, Darren O’Day pitched a perfect eighth and Will Smith got the save, allowing Tommy Pham’s two-out walk and Joey Votto’s RBI single before Aristides Aquino popped out.

Reds right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1) allowed two runs and on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.

PHILLIES 4, ATHLETICS 2

PHILADELPHIA — Kyle Gibson struck out 10 and tossed two-hit ball over seven shutout innings to lead Philadelphia over Oakland.

Nick Castellanos hit his first home run for the Phillies off Cole Irvin (0-1), and Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura hit back-to-back homers to support Gibson. Gibson (1-0) threw a tidy 82 pitches and walked none in his fourth-career double-digit strikeout game.

Jose Alvarado gave up Stephen Piscotty’s RBI single in the eighth to make it 4-1. Corey Knebel allowed Jed Lowrie’s RBI single in the ninth and issued the first walk by a Phillies pitcher this season. Knebel still picked up his first save.

WHITE SOX 5, TIGERS 2

DETROIT — Dylan Cease remained unbeaten in 10 career starts against Detroit and Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer for Chicago.

Cease (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in five-plus innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. He is 9-0 against the Tigers.

Aaron Bummer gave up singles to Miguel Cabrera and Jonathan Schoop starting the ninth, then struck out Eric Haase, Spencer Torkelson and pinch-hitter Dustin Garneau for his first save.

Chicago’s A.J. Pollock left because of right hamstring tightness after he singled leading off the third and took a wide turn at first.

Detroit’s Casey Mize (0-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.

PADRES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 2

PHOENIX — Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth, Manny Machado added an RBI double and San Diego beat Arizona.

Joe Musgrove threw six good innings for the Padres, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out eight. Steven Wilson (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win in his MLB debut.

Taylor Rogers, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Twins, earned his second save in two days.

Veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy (0-1) took the loss after giving up both runs in the eighth. The D-backs have just 10 hits through three games this season.

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