Ned Yost
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Royals extend Ned Yost through 2019

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Royals skipper Ned Yost will return to manage the club again in 2019, per a team announcement. Yost previously signed a two-year extension over the 2016 offseason and would have seen his contract expire following the conclusion of the 2018 season on Sunday.

It’s been a difficult year for the 64-year-old manager, who is coming off of one of the worst Royals seasons in franchise history. The team is poised to finish the year with at least 103 losses, marking their third-worst record since their inception in 1969 and their worst since Yost took over for Trey Hillman in 2010. In 2018, they got off to a poor start right out of the gate and sank to fifth place in the AL Central by the second day of the season, where they remained with little variation throughout the year.

Despite the Royals’ persistent troubles, however, their veteran manager still holds the winningest record in club history. He’ll enter Sunday’s season finale with a 687-735 record, one AL Central title, two American League pennants and one World Series win over nine years in Kansas City. There are other reasons for hope, too, like the team’s core of young, talented players — Adalberto Mondesi, Brett Phillips, and Ryan O'Hearn among them — as well as the fact that they’re only just emerging from the first year of a lengthy rebuild. Yost will see them through another year as they attempt to work their way back to the postseason, though he’s said he looks forward to handing the reins to his successor after helping shape the current roster into a playoff contender. Whether the Royals are capable of undergoing such a drastic transformation over the next year, of course, remains to be seen.

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.