Kodai Senga Got the Win as His Son and Daughter Watched Him Pitch; Mets Beat Cubs 11-2

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga delivers against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso homered in consecutive at-bats and tied a career high with six RBIs as the New York Mets withstood a long rain delay and snapped a six-game losing streak Monday night with an 11-2 rout of the Chicago Cubs.

Kodai Senga (8-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for his first victory since July 5 at Arizona and first at home since May 30 against Philadelphia.

“That’s just a complete team win,” Alonso said.

In their first home game since trading Justin Verlander, Mark Canha and Tommy Pham at last week’s deadline, the Mets (51-61) avoided matching their longest skid this season. New York dropped seven straight June 2-9 as it fell under .500.

Cody Bellinger hit two RBI singles for the playoff-contending Cubs, who lost for only the fifth time in 20 games. Chicago entered leading the majors in batting average (.296) since the All-Star break.

Alonso connected in the first and third innings against Drew Smyly (8-8). It was his fourth multi-homer game this year and third since the All-Star break. The first baseman also got his 18th career multi-homer game to move into sole possession of third on New York’s career list behind Darryl Strawberry (22) and former captain David Wright (21).

Alonso’s first homer carried over the left-center wall for a three-run shot that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead in the first. His two-run shot to center made it 5-1.

Those were Alonso’s third and fourth homers in 14 career at-bats against Smyly, and the slugger has 13 homers in 25 games against Chicago.

Alonso’s big night continued his recent resurgence. He batted .137 in 26 games after returning from a wrist injury June 18 but is hitting .339 (21 for 62) over his last 16 with seven homers and 20 RBIs.

“Feeling obviously super confident, but it’s hard work, hard work, determination and unrelenting self-belief even when things aren’t going that well,” Alonso said.

Senga had been 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA since beating Arizona, and the Mets scored at least five runs in one of his starts for the first time since an 8-3 victory at Pittsburgh on June 10.

“He’s been so, so amazing for us,” Alonso said.

Senga got the win as his son and daughter watched him pitch for the first time in the big leagues. He said Mets games are not shown in his part of Japan and only games involving Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani are broadcast.

“I think if I was Ohtani, there’ll be three times more media than we have here today,” Senga said through a translator. “I think he’s just that great of a player and deserves all the attention he gets.”

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) takes the field before the start of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in New York.

Senga came out to start the seventh in heavy rain but was pulled before throwing a pitch because of a wet mound. The game was delayed several minutes as Senga threw warmups, slipped throwing a pitch and manager Buck Showalter came out twice.

After Showalter’s second trip, Senga was pulled and the grounds crew quickly put the tarp on the field.

“I don’t think he felt comfortable on it and that was good enough for me,” Showalter said.

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) watches in the rain as the grounds crew attempts to dry the mound before the top of the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, Aug.7, 2023, in New York. The ground crew worked on the mound but the decision was made to delay the game.

Following a rain delay of 2 hours, 9 minutes, Danny Mendick hit a three-run homer in the seventh and Alonso hit an RBI single in the eighth on a 44 mph eephus pitch from catcher Tucker Barnhart. It was the second time Alonso drove in six.

Before the delay, the Mets scored twice in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by Jonathan Araúz and a double-play grounder by Brandon Nimmo that scored Jeff McNeil.

Smyly tied a season high by allowing seven runs. He gave up eight hits in five-plus innings for his first career loss against the Mets. The left-hander had been 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA in seven previous appearances versus New York.