Noah Syndergaard bounced back from the worst start of his career by striking out 10 over seven scoreless innings as the visiting New York Mets cruised past the Washington Nationals 7-3, in the opener of a three-game series Monday.
The win was just the third in the past 10 games for the Mets, who entered Monday four games behind the Chicago Cubs in the race for the National League’s second wild card. The Nationals, who lead the race for the first wild card, lost for only the fourth time in 20 games.
Syndergaard, who became the first Mets pitcher in more than nine years to give up 10 runs when he was tattooed by the Cubs last Wednesday, allowed three hits and walked none. After giving up a leadoff single to Trea Turner in the first, Syndergaard (10-7) set down the next 16 batters before Andrew Stevenson’s one-out pinch-hit single in the sixth. Syndergaard recorded eight strikeouts in that span.
The Nationals mounted their biggest threat in the seventh, when Anthony Rendon hit a leadoff double and took third on a one-out wild pitch before Syndergaard ended his afternoon by striking out Asdrubal Cabrera and retiring Matt Adams on a grounder to second.
The Mets scored the only runs they’d need in the second, when Joe Panik (double) and Rene Rivera (single) had back-to-back RBI hits. New York chased Nationals starter Joe Ross (3-4) during a five-run fourth, highlighted by an RBI double by Brandon Nimmo, a two-run double by J.D. Davis and a two-run homer by Jeff McNeil.
Davis had three hits for the Mets, while Rivera had his first two major league hits of the season.
Ex-Mets infielder Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the ninth for the Nationals. Turner had two hits and his 30th stolen base of the season.
Ross allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out four over 3 2/3 innings.
—Field Level Media