WASHINGTON — He was No-No-Noah into the sixth inning Tuesday night and then merely good enough to finish off the Nationals without incident.
The Mets will take this from Noah Syndergaard from now until the end of the season: Eight largely stress-free innings, minimal damage and a victory.
With Syndergaard scintillating, the Mets rolled to a third straight victory, 6-2 on a chilly night at Nationals Park, and moved back to .500.
Wilson Ramos provided the offensive clout with a first-inning grand slam, and the night then belonged to Syndergaard, who had a second dominant performance in his past three outings. The other was a shutout against the Reds two weeks ago at Citi Field in which he homered for the game’s only run.
Syndergaard (3-3) surrendered four hits and one walk and struck out six over 102 pitches.
Victor Robles hammered Syndergaard’s 74th pitch of the night for a two-run homer in the sixth that pulled the Nationals within 5-2. Syndergaard had allowed his first hit of the game earlier in the inning, but avoided bigger damage by getting Adam Eaton to hit into a double play with runners on first and second. Robles’ homer was his third in three games against Syndergaard.
Wilmer Difo singled leading off the sixth for the Nationals’ first hit. To that point Syndergaard had faced only one batter over the minimum.
The no-hit watch was on as Yan Gomes hit a grounder that Pete Alonso knocked down before flipping to Syndergaard covering first for the final out in the fifth.
Ramos’ third career grand slam gave the Mets a comfortable first-inning lead. The Nationals appeared to escape the inning on Robinson Cano’s double play grounder, but the Mets challenged the play at first base, and the call was overturned by replay. Alonso singled and Michael Conforto walked before Ramos cleared the left-field fence for his second homer in a Mets uniform.
Before the game manager Mickey Callaway pointed out the Mets were 18-11 with Ramos behind the plate and said that was reason enough to stick with the slumping backstop.
Brandon Nimmo extended the Mets’ lead to 5-0 with an RBI double in the fifth, after Conforto singled and Ramos walked. Dominic Smith smashed a pinch-hit homer in the ninth for the Mets’ final run.
Syndergaard plunked the Nationals’ first batter of the game, Eaton, before Robles hit into a double play. Anthony Rendon walked leading off the second, but the Nationals didn’t get another base runner until Difo singled leading off the sixth.
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