Bronson Arroyo aims to return Friday from back injury

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Bronson Arroyo was diagnosed last week with a bulging disk in his back, which threatened to steer him to his first-ever 15-day disabled list stint. But recent workouts have it looking like a minor blip.

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the veteran right-hander felt “way better” Sunday in Diamondbacks camp after testing his back with a game of catch on Saturday afternoon. He hopes to return to Cactus League action this coming Friday.

Arroyo, who signed a two-year, $23.5 million free agent contract with the Diamondbacks in early February, allowed one earned run over three steady innings two weeks ago in his Cactus League debut.

The 37-year-old had a 3.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 202 innings last season with the Reds.

Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill are starting for the Diamondbacks in Australia.

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.