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Alonso, Ortega rally Mets to 3-2 win over Angels and stop 4-game losing streak

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso hit a tying double in the eighth inning and Rafael Ortega a winning single in the ninth to boost the New York Mets over the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Sunday and stop a four-game losing streak.

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and was 3 for 9 with three runs, two steals and an RBI in his first series since the Angels said he tore a ligament in his right elbow while pitching on Wednesday.

Los Angeles, which won the first two games of the series, took a 2-1 lead in the eighth on Luis Rengifo’s solo homer off reliever Drew Smith.

Francisco Lindor singled in the bottom half against Matt Moore, who entered the game with a 2.14 ERA in 39 appearances. The Angels elected to pitch to Alonso, who doubled on a 2-1 pitch for his 96th RBI.

“Before the at-bat we talked about being careful with him,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Moore’s somebody who’s been our best, and trusted him. Didn’t work out.”

Alonso was 2 for 4 and made a diving stop to rob Chad Wallach of a potential multi-RBI hit fewer than 24 hours after being hit on the back of the neck by a José Soriano slider.

“You just have to let the competitive nature of the game take over,” said Alonso, who passed concussion tests on Saturday and Sunday. “I just wanted to do the best I can to help the team win today. That’s it. Both sides of the ball, you can’t play scared. You can’t play too much in your own mind.”

Francisco Álvarez was grazed by a pitch from Reynaldo López (2-7) leading off the ninth. After an unsuccessful replay challenge by the Angels, DJ Stewart singled and Mark Vientos drew a four-pitch walk.

With no outs and a 2-2 count, Ortega lined a slider into short right field for the second walkoff hit of his big league career and first with the Mets, who are in last place in the NL East this late in a season for the first time since 2005.

Ortega has six RBIs and four stolen bases in 25 games since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 1.

“Everybody’s trying to leave a good memory, whether it be Ortega, whether it be a Vientos or Álvarez,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Everybody knows that there’s going to be some direction that the club will take and they want to be included.”

Hunter Renfroe sprinted and tried to make a catch on the run but the ball glanced off his glove, allowing pinch-runner Tim Locastro to score.

“It’s always fun to be in the big leagues,” said Ortega, who has played for six teams since 2012. “I’m appreciative of this really good opportunity that I’m in right here.”

Adam Ottavino (1-4) struck out one in a perfect ninth for his first win since last Oct. 4.

Peterson tied a season high with eight strikeouts over seven innings, his longest outing since June 26 last year, He allowed his only run on Wallach’s tying RBI groundout in the seventh. Peterson then stranded two runners by getting Andrew Velazquez to line out to Alonso.

“I really liked the way he finished the seventh inning, because things could have gotten away from him,” Showalter said. “He’s not peeking in the dugout for any help. It’s unfortunate that they scratched one across. Liked to have gotten the ‘W.’”

The Angels’ Griffin Canning struck out nine over seven innings, which tied his longest start this year. Jeff McNeil scored from second base in the fourth inning on a three-hop infield hit by Álvarez. McNeil sped home when Rengifo stopped the ball behind shortstop on the outfield grass and threw home from his back.

EARLY SUNDAYS

Los Angeles is 1-3 in the Sunday early game the last two years, while the Mets are 1-1.

FOR THE BIRDS

A bird landed near the pitcher’s mound and captured the attention of the crowd of 38,341 during the bottom of the seventh After Canning completed a 1-2-3 frame, two members of the grounds crew tried chasing it away. The bird briefly flew toward centerfield but then circled back and received more cheers upon returning to foul territory behind third base. It reappeared behind third base in the bottom of the ninth.

NO DRAMA

Álvarez was the only player to be hit by a pitch Sunday, fewer than 24 hours after the benches and bullpens emptied when Alonso was hit on the back of the neck by a José Soriano curveball in the eighth inning. Ohtani took a high, inside pitch in the third inning while the Mets’ Daniel Vogelbach backed away from a pitch near an elbow in the sixth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: Nevin said RHP Chase Silseth had a “pretty good lump on his noggin” and a headache but that he fared well on tests Saturday night, when he was hit by Trey Cabbage’s throw to third base in the fourth inning. … 1B Nolan Schanuel (food poisoning) missed his second straight game. … 1B C.J. Cron (back) remains sore and has not resumed baseball activities.

Mets: Vientos (left wrist) was activated from the injured list after missing the minimum 10 days. New York also recalled RHP Jeff Brigham from Triple-A Syracuse and designated OF Abraham Almonte and LHP Adam Kolarek for assignment.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Lucas Giolito (7-10, 4.32) starts Monday night at Philadelphia, which goes with RHP Taijuan Walker (13-5, 4.02).

Mets: As RHP Max Scherzer returns to Citi Field, RHP Tylor Megill (7-7, 5.54 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Texas, which will counter with RHP Jon Gray (8-7, 3.76 ERA). Scherzer is not scheduled to pitch in the series.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB