As the first half of the season winded down, Peter Alonso noticed himself getting frustrated more easily. He also noticed his body not doing what his mind was telling it to.
The first baseman, the Mets’ No. 2 prospect, went hitless in the final three games before the break, striking out six times.
“The break was right there,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to just putting good games together, putting good at-bats together.”
“I feel like those are just tell-tale signs that the break was needed,” Alonso said of the frustration and disconnect. “The break was right there. I’m just looking forward to just putting good games together, putting good at-bats together.”
He did that Thursday, hitting the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of the 51s’ 5-4 victory over Albuquerque in the series opener at Cashman Field.
“I was just kind of in see-ball, hit-ball mode. The first pitch was a ball,” Alonso said. “The second one it wasn’t in my zone and I just wanted to get a ball and I was looking out over the plate and just being super selective … just (picking) a tunnel and (going) from there and I got one in the tunnel I wanted and put a good swing on it and we won.”
It was his second hit of the game as he also doubled to left field to lead off the second inning. Both were encouraging signs for the young prospect, who came into the day hitting .171 since his promotion to Triple-A.
“I think he had to clear his mind a little bit,” manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “(He was) kind of putting pressure on himself but I think today was good. (He) got in the sixth hole, kind of relax(ed) a little bit. He got a couple big hits.”
Alonso’s eighth-inning home run broke open a game that had been tied since the sixth inning.
Las Vegas (43-48), which had held a lead from the second inning until to the top of the sixth, capitalized on poor Albuquerque defense to tie the game in the bottom of the frame.
Second baseman Phillip Evans hit a ball toward left field which Drew Weeks couldn’t handle. Evans appeared to be caught between first and second before first baseman Ryan McMahon’s throw hit off a teammate and went into the outfield. Weeks picked up the ball and tried to nab Evans at third but instead threw it into the dugout, allowing Evans to score.
That wiped out Albuquerque’s (44-46) short-lived lead.
Before the sixth inning, the Isotopes had just two hits off of Las Vegas starter Cody Martin, but they finally got to him in that frame.
“Cody was good. He has to spin the ball. He has to work down in the bottom of the zone,” DeFrancesco said. “Sometimes he makes a mistake with his breaking ball and before you know it the teams are back in the game. He’s been battling all season the same way.”
Martin gave up a two-run blast to McMahon and two runs also scored on what looked like it would be a double play ball. Shortstop Luis Guillorme tried to handle the play unassisted, stepping on second base, but his throw to first was low. Two runs scored on the play to give the Isotopes a 4-3 lead.
The 51s had scored first in the third inning, grabbing three runs on RBI hits from Colton Plaia (double), Kevin Kaczmarski and Patrick Kivlehan.
“Good start after the All-Star break,” DeFrancesco said.
Reliever Ian Krol left with the trainer in the eighth inning.
DeFrancesco said he had some cramping in his calf, perhaps related to the heat.