NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard made a blistering return to the mound, overpowering the Miami Marlins for much of the night in the New York Mets’ 5-2 win Sunday that finished their opening homestand.
Forced from Monday’s season opener against Atlanta by a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand after six scoreless innings, the right-hander was given an extra day of rest. He walked none and struck out nine, including five of his first six batters, as the Marlins struggled to make hard contact early.
Syndergaard (1-0) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in seven innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 27 innings against Miami.
Edinson Volquez (0-1), pitching at Citi Field for the first time since starting the World Series clincher for Kansas City in 2015, allowed three runs in a first inning prolonged by catcher J.T. Realmuto’s error. Volquez later gave up solo homers to Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto, who was making his first start this season.
Given a 3-0 lead in the first, Syndergaard gave up a two-run double in the third to Dee Gordon after left fielder Yoenis Cespedes misplayed Miguel Rojas’ fly ball for an error. Still trailing by a run, the Marlins put runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth when Syndergaard struck out Gordon on a high slider.
Rene Rivera, starting in place of regular Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, threw out Gordon trying to steal third base in the third, then ended the inning by cutting down Realmuto trying to swipe second. Syndergaard allowed a major league-high 48 stolen bases last year.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was hitless in three at-bats against Syndergaard, dropping to 0 for 11 against him. Fernando Salas pitched a perfect eighth and Addison Reed got three straight outs for his first save, completing the five-hitter.
New York put runners at second and third with one out in the first when Bruce grounded to first baseman Justin Bour, who threw home in plenty of time to hang up Asdrubal Cabrera, who stopped about two-thirds of the way down the line. But Realmuto took his eyes off the ball and it ricocheted off his glove for an error as Cabrera came home. Neil Walker blooped an RBI single into left, and Volquez forced in a run with a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk to Conforto.
Bruce homered to center in the fifth and Conforto hit a 430-foot drive in the sixth that landed in the seats in front of the Shea Bridge behind the bullpens in right-center.
New York, which avoided a three-game sweep, began the day 29th in the majors in batting average at .192, ahead of only Seattle.
SLUMPING AT THE TOP
New York leadoff hitter Jose Reyes was hitless in four at-bats and is off to a 1-for-23 (.043) start. “It’s tough to play in the cold weather,” he said. “It’s not because of the weather, because everybody here played before in the cold weather. No excuse.”
Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria was put on the 10-day DL because of a strained left oblique muscle sustained during batting practice before Saturday’s game. SS J.T. Riddle, who has not played in the major leagues, was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.
Marlins: RHP Dan Straily (0-1) starts Miami’s home opener Tuesday against Atlanta, which goes with RHP Bartolo Colon.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom, who allowed two hits in six shutout innings against the Braves on Wednesday, starts at Philadelphia on Monday in the Mets’ road opener. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1) is slated to pitch for the Phillies.
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