Pete Alonso has a chance to break Darryl Strawberry's franchise rookie home run record when his New York Mets visit the National League-leading Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon after taking two of the first three in the series. Alonso belted his 26th homer in Saturday's 10-2 victory to tie Strawberry, who launched the same amount in 1983 - part of the 252 blasts he had with the club over eight years.
Alonso also broke the NL record for most homers before the All-Star break and infielder Jeff McNeil on Saturday extended his streak of multi-hit games to five after going 2-for-5 with three RBIs - giving him six in the series - for the Mets, who have homered in 18 of 20 outings this month. Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom will try to win back-to-back starts for the first time since opening the season with a pair of victories when he takes the mound for New York in the finale against veteran left-hander Cole Hamels, who owns a 0.31 ERA this month. The Cubs have dropped eight of their last 12 games after giving up at least one run in the first six innings of Saturday's setback and end their homestand with four against the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves to start next week. Kris Bryant can extend his hitting streak to 10 games (13-for-32, last nine) on Sunday for Chicago while teammate Willson Contreras has hit safely in seven straight contests (10-for-26).
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, WPIX (New York), ABC 7 (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Jacob deGrom (4-6, 3.26 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.85)
DeGrom ended a six-game winless streak Tuesday by holding Atlanta to two runs on five hits over a season-high 8 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. The 31-year-old Floridian boasts four straight quality starts and eight in his past 10 trips to the mound while striking out 112 and walking 20 across 91 innings overall this year. Anthony Rizzo is 9-for-20 with a homer versus deGrom, who gave up two runs across 15 innings against the Cubs last season.
Hamels has been outstanding in four starts this month, allowing two runs (one earned) on 17 hits across 29 innings despite a 2-1 record. The 35-year-old San Diego native struck out 27 in his last three starts and has 91 in 91 2/3 innings overall while holding opponents to a .226 batting average this year. Robinson Cano is 9-for-41 with three homers against Hamels, who is 9-14 with a 3.89 ERA in 33 career starts versus the Mets.
1. Chicago SS Javier Baez needs one homer to reach 100 for his career after going deep in the first game of the series Thursday.
2. New York 3B Todd Frazier launched his second homer of the series Saturday and is 5-for-14 in his last four contests.
3. Rizzo was left out of Saturday's starting lineup for rest and flied out as a pinch hitter to end a nine-game hitting streak versus the Mets.