CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez hit the 100th homer of his career, a three-run drive in the eighth inning as the Chicago Cubs overcame another home run by Pete Alonso to beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Sunday.
Alonso hit his 27th home run, breaking the Mets record for most by a rookie in an entire season set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983.
With the Mets clinging to a one-run lead, Baez launched his 19th homer of the season with Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo on base and one out. Baez sent an 0-2 pitch from Seth Lugo (3-1) halfway up the right field bleachers.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. The NL Cy Young Award winner struck out nine and walked none.
DeGrom also drove in a run with a single.
Steve Cishek (2-4) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the win in relief of Cole Hamels. Pedro Strop tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
Alonso’s solo shot to center came on an 0-2 pitch from Hamels in the fourth. The 24-year-old had homered on Saturday to set a new mark for NL rookies before the All-Star break.
Alonso connected in his 77th game while Strawberry hit 26 in 133 games in 1983. The Mets’ record for homers in a season is 41, shared by Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley.
“Congrats to Pete for breaking my record which has stood for a long time,” Strawberry said in a statement. “What he’s done in a short period of time is most impressive. No goal seems out of reach.”
Alonso is nearing Mark McGwire’s major league record for homers by a rookie before the All-Star break, 33 set in 1987.
Tomás Nido also homered for the Mets.
Hamels helped his cause with an RBI single and Rizzo drove in Chicago’s other run as the Cubs salvaged a split in the four-game series.
Hamels yielded three runs on seven hits through seven innings.
RHP Craig Kimbrel is expected to pitch at least one more time for Triple-A Iowa, probably on Tuesday, before the Cubs consider recalling the closer, manager Joe Maddon said.
After tossing a scoreless inning on Friday, Kimbrel threw again on Saturday as an opener for Iowa in a rain-shortened contest. The right-hander allowed a run and got two outs as he pitched in back-to-back games for the first time since finalizing a three-year, $43 million deal with the Cubs on June 7.
Mets: Manager Mickey Callaway said before the game he had no timeline on next steps for RHP Noah Syndergaard (right hamstring), who threw a bullpen on Saturday. “We’ll talk to the player and see exactly what we want to do next,” Callaway said. Syndergaard is eligible to come of the 10-day IL on Wednesday.
Cubs: Chicago activated RHP Tony Barnette (right shoulder inflammation) off the 60-day injured list and optioned RHP Rowan Wick to Triple-A Iowa. Barnette, 35, started the season on the IL. He went 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 22 relief appearances for Texas in 2018 before a shoulder strain ended his season in early July.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (5-5, 4.28) faces Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (6-7, 2.83) on Monday as the Mets open a four-game series in Philadelphia. Matz is 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA in four starts in June.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13) takes the mound on Monday against Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40) as Chicago opens a four-game series against the NL East-leading Braves.