|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 20, 2019
Citi Field, Flushing, New York Attendance: 33,800
Alonso carrying hot Mets into battle vs. Indians
The New York Mets have taken advantage of a presumably soft schedule to win 18 of their last 23 games to improve their position in pursuit of a wild-card spot in the National League.
The Mets, however, begin a stretch of six straight series against teams currently above .500 on Tuesday when they open a three-game set against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
Pete Alonso highlighted his second consecutive three-hit performance in Sunday's 11-5 win over Kansas City with his 40th homer of the season, breaking the NL rookie record set by Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
"This season's been unbelievable. It's been a dream come true so far and I just want to keep building off of it and keep trying to help this team win," Alonso said.
Alonso has done his part both throughout the season as well as over the last four games, during which he is 11-for-17 with four extra-base hits (two doubles, two homers), 10 RBIs and four runs scored.
The 24-year-old slugger is one homer shy of the Mets' single-season record, which was initially set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and matched a decade later by Carlos Beltran.
"That's even more mind-boggling," Alonso said. "I'm just really grateful. Grateful and thankful and happy that I've had this opportunity."
Amed Rosario matched Alonso with three hits on Sunday to improve to 14-for-24 with five RBIs and six runs scored in his last five games.
New York will look to keep its offense churning Tuesday versus right-hander Shane Bieber (12-5, 3.27 ERA), who has surrendered six homers in his last four contests after being taken deep just once in his previous eight.
Bieber, who allowed two solo homers in a 5-1 loss to Boston on Wednesday, is making his first career start against the Mets.
Left-hander Steven Matz (7-7, 4.33) looks for his third straight strong start for New York. Matz permitted one run on two hits over six innings in a no-decision at Atlanta on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old allowed three hits and fanned nine over seven scoreless innings to win his lone career start against Cleveland in 2016.
Matz will need to subdue rookie Oscar Mercado, who homered among his three hits in the Indians' 8-4 victory over the New York Yankees. Mercado is 9-for-18 with three extra-base hits (two doubles, homer) during his five-game hitting streak.
Francisco Lindor also went deep in the series finale versus the Yankees and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 contests. He has scored 10 runs in that stretch for the Indians, who have lost four of their last six.
Trade deadline acquisition Franmil Reyes has struggled to get untracked since arriving from the San Diego Padres, going 10-for-64 with two homers and 26 strikeouts in 18 games with Cleveland.
"He's a big strong guy with a big swing," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the 24-year-old slugger. "I haven't been around him a lot. I think even when he's going good, there is going to be swing and miss.
"I just think he's the type of guy that if you don't stay with him, you're not going to get the kind of rewards you want. He's hit 29 home runs. We need to stay with him."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 20, 2019