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Mets rookie sensation Alonso crushes 50th homer

Pete Alonso of the New York Mets hits his 50th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park (AFP Photo/Jamie Sabau)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Rising star Pete Alonso belted his 50th homer and Jacob deGrom continued his march towards another Cy Young Award as the New York Mets kept their playoff hopes alive with an 8-1 win over Cincinnati.

The Mets improved to 80-73 on the season with their third straight win.

They entered Friday's contest 3 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the National League's second wild card.

Alonso was hitless in his first three at-bats before making history in the eighth, when he crushed a Sal Romano outside pitch over the centre-field fence to stretch the Mets' lead to 5-0 over the Reds.

The milestone blast snapped a tie with drugs cheat Mark McGwire for second place on the all-time rookie single-season list. McGwire admitted to using steroids in 1998 when he broke Major League Baseball's home run record.

DeGrom (10-8) allowed four hits and walked none while striking out nine over seven innings. He has allowed one run or fewer 15 times this season but earned a win in just eight of those outings. He is seeking to win his second straight NL Cy Young Award for the top pitcher.

The loss guaranteed the Reds (72-82) their sixth straight losing season.