Pete Alonso’s milestone homer helps Mets roll past Marlins

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso belted his 100th career home run in his 347th Major League game Tuesday, becoming the second-fastest player in American League/National League history to reach 100 home runs. Former Phillies star Ryan Howard did it in 325 games.

Alonso is also just the eighth player in AL/NL history to hit 100 or more home runs within his first three seasons.

Alonso’s 31st homer of 2021 came in the first inning of Tuesday night’s 9-4 win over the Marlins at loanDepot park. He added his 32nd homer of the season, a solo shot in the ninth, to punctuate the win, which lifted the Mets above .500 at 70-69. New York remained four games behind the Braves (73-64) in the NL East.

“It’s truly a blessing to get to those numbers as quickly as I did,” Alonso said. “But also, there’s a lot of hard work that’s been put in basically throughout my entire life. I’m just really blessed to have this opportunity and be able to perform at an extremely high level.

“There’s so many people that have been in my life that I’m just so thankful for — family, friends, coaches, teammates. And without those people having such a positive influence on me, for me to be able to perform like this consistently, it wouldn’t be able to happen. So I just want to say thank you to everybody in my life that’s had a positive impact. I’m really appreciative.”

Alonso is the ninth Mets player to record multiple seasons of 30 or more home runs and the first to do so within his first three seasons. He hit an AL/NL rookie record 53 homers in 2019.

His home run total ranks 15th in club history. Carlos Delgado, with 104 homers, is next on the list.

Alonso extended his hitting streak to seven games and upped his career-long road hitting streak to 13 games.

“He can change the game easily with one swing,” said manager Luis Rojas. “He’s got the confidence right now. It was a big game for him. We’re all excited for the milestone he accomplished. He’s a great human being and a great baseball player. Those two set things up very well for a long career.

“He takes very good care of himself physically, and he loves this game. He’s got a good connection with the fans, his teammates, players around the league, he’s a good part of this game.”

Alonso’s first homer of the night, a Statcast-projected 425-foot blast, staked Mets starter Carlos Carrasco to an early 2-0 lead. Considering Carrasco’s first-inning woes this season, it was certainly a welcome sight.

“He plays hard, he does everything right, I love to play with him and the rest of the team,” Carrasco said of Alonso. “He’s a great guy.”

Carrasco gave back one of those runs in the bottom of the first and now has a 14.65 ERA (13 earned runs in eight innings) in the first inning this season.

The Mets painfully broke a 2-2 tie in the third after three consecutive walks loaded the bases. Michael Conforto (foot) and Javier Báez (hand) were hit by pitches on back-to-back plate appearances, and New York led 4-2 despite having just one hit, Alonso’s homer.

Francisco Lindor helped the Mets break a 4-4 tie the more conventional way. His two-run single in the sixth highlighted a decisive three-run inning that gave New York a 7-4 advantage.

“That was a game changer right there,” Rojas said.

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