Alonso, DeGrom Lift Mets

New York Mets' Pete Alonso, left, runs past Arizona Diamondbacks' first baseman Christian Walker as he runs the bases on a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso hit two home runs to take the major league lead, Jacob deGrom struck out 11 and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series for both teams.

The Diamondbacks began the day 1¢ games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot and the Mets trailed by four. Chicago played later at San Diego.

Alonso hit a solo drive in the first inning, then connected for his 47th home run in the fifth. He moved two ahead Mike Trout for most in the majors and closed within five of Aaron Judge’s rookie record set two years ago.

DeGrom (9-8) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He gave up a home run to former teammate Wilmer Flores in the fifth.

YANKEES 5, RED SOX 0

BOSTON (AP) –New York officially ended Boston’s three-year reign as AL East champs.

The defending World Series champion Red Sox are still in playoff contention, but barely. They began the day eight games out of the second AL wild-card spot.

James Paxton (13-6) won his eighth straight start, allowing four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three in setting a career best in victories as the Yankees increased their lead to nine games over second-place Tampa Bay.

Austin Romine and Gio Urshela each hit solo homers for the Yankees, who took the final three of a four-game series. New York increased its club record to 270 homers, a night after setting the mark.

ASTROS 15, ATHLETICS 0

HOUSTON (AP) — Zack Greinke struck out five in six strong innings, Robinson Chirinos and Yordan Alvarez each homered twice as Houston hit a major league-record six home runs in the first two innings, and the high-scoring Astros routed Oakland for their fifth straight victory.

After a 21-1 win over Seattle on Sunday, the Astros set a franchise record for runs scored in consecutive games with 36.

Houston hit six of its seven homers in the first two innings for an 11-0 lead. The seven shots matched a franchise record for homers in a game set Sept. 9, 2000, against the Chicago Cubs. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley also homered.

Greinke (15-5) retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. He allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a batter.

BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Foltynewicz threw seven impressive innings, Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit homers and NL East-leading Atlanta beat Philadelphia.

Atlanta increased its lead over Washington to 9¢ games and reduced its magic number to 10 with 17 games remaining. The Phillies entered two games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the NL.

Foltynewicz (6-5) retired the first 13 batters before Corey Dickerson went deep in the fifth. He gave up three hits, one run and struck out seven. The right-hander won his fifth straight decision.

BREWERS 8, MARLINS 3

MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Trent Grisham had a career-high five hits and drove in two runs, and Milwaukee won its fourth straight.

Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer and Lorenzo Cain had three hits and knocked in a run for the Brewers in a game that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes.

Milwaukee moved within six games of idle first-place St. Louis in the NL Central. The Brewers began the day two games out of the second wild-card spot occupied by the division rival Chicago Cubs, who were playing later Monday.

The game featured 15 pitchers who combined for 14 walks. The Marlins loaded the bases in four innings while the Brewers did it three times.

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