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Alonso breaks MLB rookie home run record

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Pete Alonso broke Major League Baseball's single-season rookie home-run record Saturday, when the New York slugger hit a solo blast in the Mets' 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Alonso's milestone 53rd homer came in the third inning on a 2-1 pitch from Mike Foltynewicz. Alonso's blast broke a tie with Aaron Judge who set the mark of 52 two years ago.

Alonso dropped his bat, walked a few steps up the baseline and then raised his arms before rounding the bases and then celebrating with his teammates. Robinson Cano was the first player to greet Alonso, who raised his arms before being engulfed in hugs.

Rene Rivera hit a two-run homer earlier in the inning for the Mets, who have won the first two games of the season-ending three-game set.

Elsewhere, Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander became the 18th pitcher in major league history to reach the 3,000-strikeout mark, doing so in his final start of the regular season against the Los Angeles Angels.

Verlander fanned 12 batters to stretch his career total to 3,006. He struck out Kole Calhoun in fourth inning to hit the milestone.

He also fanned Calhoun in the sixth for his career-high 300th strikeout of the season.

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