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Pete Alonso might not love the days he serves as the Mets’ designated hitter, but the role certainly has agreed with him so far in its first year of existence in the National League.

Alonso belted his third home run of the season — all coming in his three starts as a DH — to help the Mets to a 5-0 victory Sunday over the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.

Before the game, Buck Showalter said he’d informed Alonso and explained the rationale of his plan to have Dominic Smith man first base in the series finale.

“I told him, ‘Understand, I’m trying to figure out a way to have you play 150-160 [games], a lot of games for us. This is designed to have you available to us as much as possible,’ ” Showalter said. “Pete’s our first baseman, he’s going to play the majority of our games at first base, but when we DH him, it’s designed to keep him on the field for the long haul.”

Alonso ripped his only two previous home runs this season with nine RBI over two starts at designated hitter, April 9 at Washington and April 13 in Philadelphia. Alonso’s two-run blast to left-center in Sunday’s seventh inning against Arizona righty Matt Peacock extended the Mets’ lead to 5-0.

Mets beat Diamondbacks
Pete Alonso (r.) celebrates his home run with Francisco Lindor (l.) during the Mets’ win over the Diamondbacks on April 17, 2022.
Getty Images

Meanwhile, even the No. 7 starter on the Mets’ depth chart is throwing nothing but zeroes, as David Peterson lasted 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings in place of injured starter Taijuan Walker. Despite also being without ace Jacob deGrom (shoulder), the starting staff’s ERA was lowered to a league-best 1.07 through 10 games.

Trevor Williams, Chasen Shreve (two innings), Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz combined to record the final 14 outs to complete the pitching staff’s third combined shutout already through the team’s 7-3 start.

Peterson didn’t make the Opening Day roster, but the lefty allowed no runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts before Showalter pulled him for Williams after 80 pitches with one down in the fifth. Peterson also tossed four scoreless innings in relief of Walker (shoulder) in Philadelphia on Monday.

Mets
David Peterson during the Mets’ win over the Diamondbacks on April 17, 2022.
Corey Sipkin

Still, the Mets managed only one hit against Arizona starter Humberto Castellanos through his four scoreless innings, a single to left by James McCann in the third.

The Mets maintained the scoreless knot in the sixth. The inning began with Starling Marte turning a catchable ball into a sun-aided double for the second time in the game. Shreve relieved Williams and retired the side, however, stranding Christian Walker at third.

The Mets cashed in on some shoddy Arizona defense in the bottom half to break through for three runs. Diamondbacks right fielder Pavin Smith overthrew second base on Eduardo Escobar’s one-out double, enabling Alonso to score.

Pinch-hitter J.D. Davis added an RBI single against 40-year-old former Mets lefty Oliver Perez before McCann made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to left.

Source: NYPOST

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