Alonso hits tiebreaking HR, Mets beat Nationals 7-3

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NEW YORK – Pete Alonso hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the sixth inning, and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Friday night.

Alonso’s high drive to left field off Josiah Gray made it 4-3 and kicked off a four-run inning. He has 32 homers and his 106 RBIs are 18 short of the team record shared by Mike Piazza in 1999 and David Wright in 2006. The NL East-leading Mets have 30 games left for Alonso to make a run at the mark.

Eduardo Escobar hit his first homer since July 26 and drove in three runs for New York.

Mychal Givens (7-3), who entered with an 8.03 ERA in his first 13 appearances for the Mets, recorded five outs in relief of starter David Peterson. Givens stranded a runner at third in the sixth and worked around a two-out walk in the seventh.

Gray (7-9), pitching for the first time since Aug. 20, allowed six runs in five-plus innings for last-place Washington.

Jeff McNeil had three hits for the Mets, his 14th multi-hit effort in 33 games dating to July 30. Tomas Nido drove in two runs.

After Alonso’s homer in the sixth, Escobar had a sacrifice fly that made it 5-3. Mark Canha was thrown out at second base on the play, but Nido followed with an RBI single and Brandon Nimmo drove him in with a triple.

Victor Robles scored the Nationals’ first run by racing home from third on a third-inning throwing error by catcher Nido, who threw wide of the bag after Lane Thomas struck out on a ball that bounced. Thomas reached first base on the play.

Alex Call had an RBI single in the fifth and Ildemaro Vargas tied the game with a run-scoring double that chased Peterson in the sixth.

Peterson was charged with three runs in 5 1/3 innings.


Gray, teammate Josh Palacios and manager Dave Martinez all had friends and relatives in attendance. Palacios was born and went to high school in Brooklyn while Martinez was born in Brooklyn before moving to Florida as a teenager.


Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (left elbow inflammation) threw a bullpen Friday and could throw a simulated game during Washington’s series next week against the St. Louis Cardinals. Martinez said the goal is for Gore – who has been sidelined since the week before he was traded to the Nationals by the San Diego Padres as part of the Juan Soto deal – to make a start before the season ends.

Mets: RHP Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) threw a perfect inning of relief Thursday for Double-A Binghamton. Manager Buck Showalter said he hoped Megill, who will return as a reliever after making his first 27 big league appearances as a starter, could pitch again Saturday or Sunday.


Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (5-17, 6.56 ERA) snapped the Nationals’ major league-record streak of 43 straight games without a win by a starting pitcher in his previous start Sunday.

Mets: RHP Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.27 ERA) goes against one of his former clubs in his third attempt at earning the 200th win of his career.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.