Six things to know about Friday's game...
1) Pete Alonso did another Pete Alonso thing in the sixth inning, crushing a solo home run 432 feet to center field with an exit velocity of 111.7 miles per hour. It turned out to be a huge homer as that put the Mets up 5-1, and their bullpen went on to give up three runs. Alonso finished 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. He now has seven homers and 18 RBI this season.
Alonso is one of three players since 1908 to hit 14 extra-base hits and record 18 RBI in his first 19 career games; George Scott did it in 1966 and Mandy Brooks did it in 1925.
2) The Mets' bullpen somehow pieced together the final five innings. Seth Lugo gave up two runs in two innings before Jeurys Familia worked a perfect seventh. He allowed an unearned run in the eighth. Justin Wilson then faced two batters, allowing an infield single on a play where J.D. Davis made a nice stop but committed a throwing error, and then a walk. Robert Gsellman came in and got out of the jam to keep the Mets ahead.
3) Because the Mets insist that Edwin Díaz won't be asked to get more than three outs in one single inning, Diaz wasn't warming up in the eighth as things got dicey. But thanks to Gsellman, they were able to get the closer the ball in the ninth with the lead and he slammed the door shut for his seventh save. After getting the first two batters out, Díaz gave up a walk and a single to put the tying run on third, but he got Yadier Molina to fly out to center to end the game.
4) The bar was low for Jason Vargas, but his performance on Friday was a huge improvement over last Saturday's debacle. He went four innings, allowing one run -- a solo home run to José Martínez in the fourth -- surrendering three hits and three walks while striking out three. He was moved up one day when deGrom was initially pushed back with strep throat. Vargas' spot in the rotation probably remains secure for as long as deGrom is out.
5) Robinson Canó had a big night, going 3-for-5 with an RBI single in the second inning. It was Cano's first three-hit game of the season, raising his average to .218.
6) Wilson Ramos and Davis each drove in a run with a single and double, respectively, in the first inning to give the Mets an early lead. Davis finished 2-for-4. He was taken out in the ninth as Jeff McNeil, who went 0-for-5, shifted from left field to third base. McNeil made a jumping grab in the ninth on a screaming liner by Paul DeJong.
The Mets continue their series with the Cardinals on Saturday at 2:15 p.m.. Chris Flexen will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to start after deGrom went on the IL, while St. Louis will send RHP Miles Mikolas to the mound.