Pete Alonso reaches third deck with 23rd homer of the season

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/10918/" data-ylk="slk:Pete Alonso">Pete Alonso</a> is second in the Majors with 23 homers this season. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Pete Alonso is second in the Majors with 23 homers this season. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NEW YORK -- New York Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso can put the ball out to any part of the park. But the team’s owner, Jeff Wilpon, joked with the rookie slugger because he never reached the third deck at Citi Field.

With homer No. 23 on Saturday night, the joke was over.

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Alonso blasted a three-run shot off the facing of the third deck in left field in the first inning of the Mets’ 8-7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. The homer traveled 458 feet, the longest for Alonso the majors so far.

“It's awesome. It's something that I look forward to every single day,” Alonso said. “It gets the adrenaline going and it's one of the main reasons why I play baseball.”

Alonso trails only reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, who slugged his 26th for the Brewers on Saturday, for the MLB homer lead.

Alonso laid off a changeup down and a fastball up to work a 3-1 count against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. Wacha made a mistake and left a changeup elevated and over the middle of the plate, and Alonso crushed it.

“I just put my head down, and put the finger up and started running around the bases,” said J.D. Davis, who singled in the at-bat prior to Alonso’s homer. “In the hitters meeting we were talking about getting [Wacha] into a pitcher's count and getting him in the strike zone. [Alonso] did a really good job in that at-bat.”

Wilson Ramos’ contributed an RBI double and Carlos Gomez drove in another first-inning run with a sacrifice fly. The Mets gave Noah Syndergaard a 5-1 lead after Dexter Fowler homered on the sixth pitch of the game. It was a significant shift in momentum a day after two gut-wrenching losses to open the series.

“It set a great tone. We needed to get out early, kind of show everybody that yesterday didn't really affect us,” Callaway said. “Pete steps up, does that, we score five in the first, and it kind of shows everybody this team's not going to ever give up. Yesterday, that sucked. It was not fun for anybody. They came to the field today to go to beat a very good team over there. They showed up and kind of proved it to them in the first.”

Alonso also singled and was hit by a pitch. The three RBIs give him 53 on the season, the ninth-most in baseball.

Davis finished with a career high four hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle. His eighth homer of the year comes in his second consecutive start.

“Over the last month, I've just been off the fastball,” Davis said, explaining that the hitting coaches and baseball operations staff noticed he was getting his foot down late. “I just made the adjustment I think the day before Yankee Stadium. Something clicked.”

Davis is batting .277 with 21 RBIs this season.

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