NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso homered again and the New York Mets beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Thursday to post consecutive wins for the first time in a month.
The game was tied at 2 before Tommy Pham legged out a bouncer to third with one out in the sixth inning, driving in Jeff McNeil with the infield hit against Zack Littell (0-1).
Tylor Megill (5-2) worked six innings of two-run ball for the win. David Robertson allowed Randy Arozarena’s one-out double in the ninth before finishing his eighth save.
“It’s great,” Alonso said. “We’re a talented bunch. We know we’re talented. Our talent has been here the entire year. It’s just a matter about performing. For us to perform against a high quality opponent is a good sign for us.”
The Mets won consecutive games for the first time since April 20-21 in San Francisco. They won a series for the first time since taking two of three at the Los Angeles Dodgers from April 17-19.
“For us to be able to scratch out two out of three against them is big for us,” Robertson said. “We needed one of those for our confidence.”
Josh Lowe homered for Tampa Bay, which has dropped four of six. Lowe and Arozarena each had two hits, and Harold Ramírez drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the first.
The Rays (32-13) closed out a 4-6 trip that included five one-run losses.
“Two or three games didn’t go our way,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We were close a couple (of games) but close doesn’t necessarily cut it. Frustrating.”
The Rays blew a 5-2 lead in Wednesday night’s 8-7 loss at New York. Francisco Álvarez connected for a tying three-run homer for the ninth for the Mets, and Alonso hit a three-run shot in the 10th.
Alonso also put New York in front in the series finale, driving a 1-2 fastball from rookie Taj Bradley 446 feet to center in the fourth. The big first baseman homered for the third straight game for the second time this season, giving him 16 on the year.
Alonso has been dealing with an illness, making his current streak even more impressive.
“I just don’t want me not feeling well to be an excuse for a lack of performance,” Alonso said. “So, for me I want to approach it how I normally do and just go out there and play as best I can and as hard as I can.”
“I just think sometimes it kind of relaxes you because it kind of lowers your expectations a little bit,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s a strong man.”
After Lowe hit a tying homer in the sixth, the Mets had runners at first and third when Brett Baty followed Alonso’s warning-track fly ball with a single.
Pham’s grounder bounced high before third baseman Isaac Paredes fielded the ball at the edge of the grass. McNeil broke for home and Pham just beat the throw at first as the Mets regained the lead.
“I thought we had some breaks kind of go our way today that hadn’t been coming our way,” Showalter said.
Pham had been in a 1-for-20 skid.
Bradley allowed two runs and three hits in five innings.
Rays: 1B Yandy Díaz (left groin) missed a third straight game and likely will return for Friday’s homestand opener against Milwaukee. … RHP Zack Burdi was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room for Bradley on the active roster.
Rays: RHP Shane McClanahan (7-0, 2.34 ERA) opposes Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser (0-0, 5.19 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series Friday.
Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 8.56 ERA) returns after missing over a month with right elbow inflammation. He pitches Friday against Cleveland RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.97 ERA).
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