KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the waning minutes of an ordinary win on a slow Sunday afternoon, Pete Alonso made more history.
His solo home run in the ninth inning of the Mets’ 11-5 win against the Royals was his 40th of the season. That is more than any rookie has hit in the 144-year history of the National League, one better than Dodgers star Cody Bellinger’s total in 2017.
The record-breaking shot traveled an estimated 418 feet to left field, coming off the bat at 111 mph.
Alonso’s blast highlighted the win for the Mets (64-60), who bounced back to win the series after losing the opener Friday. They finished their road trip to Atlanta and Kansas City at 3-3.
The game turned in the seventh, when the Mets scored six runs off two relievers after Kansas City decided to go to its bullpen instead of sticking with righthander Glenn Sparkman (81 pitches). J.D. Davis had a tying single and Amed Rosario (3-for-5) the go-ahead single before the Mets poured it on. Richard Lovelady in particular got pounded, facing four batters and allowing four hits after the Mets took the lead.
Davis left the game after his pinch-hit single and running first to third on Tomas Nido’s double. Sunday marked the second day in a row he was out of the lineup with a tight right calf, and manager Mickey Callaway said before the game he was being cautious in holding Davis out.
Sparkman largely stifled the Mets, giving up three runs in six innings. All of the runs came on one pitch: Michael Conforto’s three-run home run to rightfield in the first inning. The 452-foot shot was Conforto’s 26th long ball of the year, two shy of the career high he set last year.
That concluded a humdrum weekend for the Mets against KC starters. Mike Montgomery (4.63 ERA) held the Mets to an unearned run in six innings Friday. Jakob Junis (4.78 ERA) also turned in a quality start, allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings Saturday. Then Sparkman made the one mistake to Conforto in allowing three runs in seven innings.
Zack Wheeler turned in his second mediocre start of the week, allowing four runs (three earned) in five innings. Although Wheeler didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings, he petered out late and committed a key throwing error during Kansas City’s three-run fifth, loading the bases with no outs.