NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso pulled into second base and wind-milled his big arm — a little air guitar on center stage at Citi Field.
Halfway through an injury-riddled season, the New York Mets keep hitting the right notes.
Alonso broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double off All-Star Brandon Woodruff, and the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Monday night in a matchup of National League division leaders.
“I like the way we've played the entire season,” New York manager Luis Rojas said. “I think we've just been consistent.”
Edwin Díaz pitched out of trouble in the ninth, retiring three straight batters with two on after giving up an RBI single to Tyrone Taylor.
Michael Conforto added an RBI single and Dominic Smith had a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who managed only one hit through six innings against an efficient Woodruff (7-4).
Still, they improved to 25-11 at Citi Field with another stingy pitching performance — New York began the day with a major league-best 2.08 ERA at home.
The Mets reached the midpoint of the season with a 44-37 record that put them at least four games up in the NL East pending Monday's late games.
“Where we are now is where we want to be at the end of 162,” Alonso said. "I think this team is extremely battle-tested and we've earned our spot.
“We're going to have a target on our backs for the entire second half.”
Rookie right-hander Tylor Megill, with his parents in the stands for his third big league start, allowed just two hits and two walks in five impressive innings. He struck out seven.
“He's fit right in and really filled a big hole,” Alonso said. “He's been super clutch for us the way he's carved guys up.”
Omar Narváez homered for the Brewers, who won 11 straight before a 2-0 loss Sunday in Pittsburgh. Milwaukee entered with the best record in baseball (30-11) since May 22 and the largest cushion (seven games) of any first-place club.
Seth Lugo (2-1) struck out two in a perfect seventh, and Díaz earned his 18th save in 19 opportunities.
Díaz, idle since last Tuesday, put his first three batters on before a visit from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. Then the closer struck out Jace Peterson and Keston Hiura before Jackie Bradley Jr. flied out to end it.
“We gave ourselves a chance, but we’ve got to give ourselves a chance in more innings,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “I think that’s kind of the message from tonight.”
Hiura fanned all four times up.
Narváez connected off Megill in the fourth, but the Mets responded immediately.
Woodruff had retired his first nine batters, striking out five, before Brandon Nimmo doubled leading off the Mets fourth. He advanced on a sacrifice bunt by $341 million shortstop Francisco Lindor and scored on Smith's tying sac fly.
“I feel like right now we’re hitting on all cylinders,” Alonso said.
Lindor drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and dashed to third on Smith's single. Alonso, who homered in both ends of a day-night doubleheader the Mets split Sunday at Yankee Stadium, lined the next pitch into left field and celebrated when he reached second base.
“That's just high-quality championship baseball,” Alonso said. “Execution was perfect.”
One out later, Conforto snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a run-scoring single that made it 4-1.
“I just started catching too much of the plate,” Woodruff said. “We’re still playing good baseball.”
The Brewers won eight of the previous nine games and 16 of the past 22 between the teams — though this was their first meeting since May 2019.
Brewers: OF Lorenzo Cain (strained right hamstring) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Nashville that will extend past the All-Star break. “Because he’s been off the field for quite a bit,” Counsell said, “I think it’s important that we get him out playing, just playing regularly.” ... OF Avisaíl García (tight left hamstring) was rested but is expected back in the lineup Tuesday. “We’re just being careful with it. It was kind of the plan to just make sure we don’t go too many days in a row,” Counsell said. García flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... Slumping slugger Christian Yelich went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after receiving a rest Sunday.
Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco, sidelined all season by a strained right hamstring, practiced fielding from the Citi Field mound. He is scheduled to throw live batting practice in the next few days and then probably begin a minor league rehab assignment. Rojas said Carrasco might be able to join the Mets by the end of July. ... Acting general manager Zack Scott said it's possible Carrasco and RHP Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) could be activated without being fully stretched out, hinting one or both could be used out of the bullpen. ... 3B J.D. Davis (sprained left hand) is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse and could rejoin the Mets this weekend. ... With LHP David Peterson (right side soreness) on the injured list, Rojas said Robert Stock is “a strong option” to make a spot start Wednesday in the series finale. Rojas also mentioned RHP Nick Tropeano, another recent minor league acquisition. ... RHP Dellin Betances is scheduled for season-ending shoulder surgery Wednesday.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom (7-2) looks to lower his major league-best 0.95 ERA in the middle game of the series Tuesday night. LHP Brett Anderson (2-5, 4.69) comes off the injured list for Milwaukee (bruised knee).
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