CINCINNATI — Pete Alonso hit his major-league-leading 50th home run, Jacob deGrom pitched shutout ball for seven innings, and the Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds, 8-1, on Friday night.
Amed Rosario hit a two-run homer, and Jeff McNeil added a solo shot for the Mets, who opened the day three and a half games behind Milwaukee for the second National League wild card. The Brewers hosted Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Alonso is two homers shy of the Yankees star Aaron Judge’s 2017 total for the rookie record for a season. The right-handed Alonso connected on a two-run blast in the eighth inning against reliever Sal Romano, reaching for a down-and-away pitch and lining it an estimated 437 feet to right-center field. Alonso is the second rookie to reach 50 homers in a season, and he leads Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez by two for most in the majors this season.
The Reds intentionally walked Alonso during the Mets’ three-run ninth.
The Cincinnati rookie Aristides Aquino led off the ninth with a homer. Aquino, a midseason call-up, has 17 home runs in 49 games this season.
DeGrom (10-8) struck out nine and did not walk anybody, matching his win total from last season, when he won the N.L. Cy Young Award. He could be a repeat winner after dropping his E.R.A. to 2.51.
McNeil broke up the scoreless tie with his 23rd homer, a towering drive into the visitors’ bullpen down the right field line with one out in the sixth inning.
Rosario followed J. D. Davis’s two-out walk with a two-run shot to left-center field, his 14th homer.
Those were two of the three hits allowed by Luis Castillo in seven innings. Castillo (15-7) struck out seven and walked three.
The Mets right-hander Robert Gsellman’s bullpen session went “extremely well,” Manager Mickey Callaway said. An evalution on Saturday will determine whether the next step is pitching for live batting practice. Gsellman has been out since Aug. 14 with tightness in his right triceps. … Reds Manager David Bell said he considered the return of outfielder Jesse Winker (cervical strain) this season “highly unlikely.” Winker has been sidelined since Aug. 22.