NEW YORK – Pete Alonso and the New York Mets have a few more days to get back on track before the trade deadline.
They know it, too.
Alonso homered twice and drove in a season-high five runs, Justin Verlander pitched six shutout innings and the Mets beat the crosstown-rival New York Yankees 9-3 in their Subway Series opener Tuesday night.
Jeff McNeil had three RBIs and Francisco Lindor added three hits and three runs for the disappointing Mets (47-53), hoping for a big week that might persuade ownership not to sell at the Aug. 1 deadline.
“For us right now, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Alonso said. “We're at that point now where it’s, all right, like every series is a big series and we need to take as many wins as possible."
Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach connected back-to-back at Yankee Stadium to begin the sixth against Domingo Germán, who fell to 0-2 in four starts since throwing the 24th perfect game in major league history June 28 at Oakland.
Germán (5-7) struck out nine in six innings but was tagged for three homers and seven hits. McNeil's run-scoring single made it 7-0 in the seventh after a throwing error by rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe.
The 40-year-old Verlander (5-5) was touched for just two hits in his 249th win. He struck out six and issued four walks — three to DJ LeMahieu.
“He had his way with us. I thought his slider was really good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I definitely thought he was sharp.”
The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last eight regular-season starts versus the Yankees.
“I enjoy pitching here. It’s fun,” Verlander said. "All eyes are on you, and big moments. And we’ve had some great rivalries in the past with the Astros and going back to the Tigers.”
Verlander was pulled after 98 pitches, and David Robertson quashed an uprising in the eighth by his former team. McNeil tacked on a two-run double in the ninth before a sellout crowd of 46,540.
Brandon Nimmo opened the game with a double and scored when Alonso's two-out pop fly dropped in shallow left-center for an RBI single.
“You've just got to wear it,” Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader said. “That ball shouldn't have fallen, but it did.”
Alonso lined a three-run homer on an 0-2 changeup in the third after Lindor got the two-out rally started with a bloop double and McNeil walked. It was Alonso's first homer in 13 games since July 6, his longest drought of the season. The slugger was in a prolonged slump before going 5 for 11 in Boston last weekend.
“There's a lot of work not just physically but mentally that was put in in order to get to this point,” Alonso said. “So I’m just really happy that I can finally see the fruits of my labor.”
Alonso went deep to center field in the sixth for his 16th career multi-homer game and second this year.
“We've got to keep Pete in check tomorrow,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said.
Mets: Rookie catcher Francisco Álvarez was removed in the ninth after getting hit on the middle finger of his right hand by a 97 mph pitch from Albert Abreu. Álvarez said X-rays were negative. Umpires ruled he swung at the pitch for strike three. That came one batter after Abreu nicked Mark Vientos with a 97 mph heater. ... LF Tommy Pham sat out. He's been nursing a nagging groin. ... RF Starling Marte (migraines) is feeling much better. But the Mets hadn't committed yet to activating him from the 10-day injured list when he becomes eligible Thursday, manager Buck Showalter said. ... Imaging showed a Grade 2 right calf strain for INF Luis Guillorme, who is expected to miss four to six weeks. Guillorme was injured last weekend in Boston.
Yankees: RF Aaron Judge (toe) is playing simulated games at the team's complex in Tampa, Florida. Asked if the 2022 AL MVP could return at first-place Baltimore this weekend, Boone said: “I wouldn’t rule anything out.” ... RHP Jonathan Loáisiga, rehabbing from elbow surgery, will participate in simulated game situations Wednesday with Judge. ... LHP Nestor Cortes (strained rotator cuff) probably needs two more minor league rehab starts before coming off the injured list. He's scheduled to make his second one Friday, though Boone wasn’t sure where yet.
ON A ROLL
Gleyber Torres extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games, the longest by a Yankees player this season.
Mets: José Quintana (0-1) makes his second start for the Mets in the series finale Wednesday night. The left-hander missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season following rib surgery. Quintana hasn't given up a home run in 66 2/3 innings since last August with St. Louis — the longest current streak in the majors.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodón (0-3, 7.36 ERA) looks for his first win in four starts with the Yankees after signing a $162 million, six-year contract as a free agent last December. Rodón missed the first three-plus months of the season because of forearm and back injuries.