WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Wilson Ramos hit a first-inning grand slam after Washington failed to complete what should have been a routine double play, Noah Syndergaard took a no-hitter into the sixth, and the New York Mets beat the slumping Nationals 6-2 Tuesday night.
The Mets have won three games in a row. The Nationals, meanwhile, lost for the 11th time in 15 games, fell to 2-12 in series openers and are 16-24 overall. In the NL, only the starting-from-scratch Miami Marlins have a worse record.
Syndergaard (3-3) allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings, lowering his ERA to 4.74. The first hit he allowed was a single to right by Wilmer Difo to open the sixth, and Victor Robles followed with a homer off a 98 mph fastball.
The Mets flamethrower has bounced back in a big way after a putrid start to 2019. Syndergaard went 1-3 and posted a 6.43 ERA in five April starts. The righty’s ERA fell to 2.35 in May after his latest gem.
It was Robles’ seventh homer of the season — and third off Syndergaard.
Other than that two-batter hiccup, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Syndergaard lived up to his “Thor” nickname, repeatedly reaching 99 mph on his 102-pitch evening and striking out six.
Ramos, who used to play for the Nationals, connected with a low 80 mph offering from Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) for his second homer. The veteran catcher hasn’t turned on too many pitches over the first six weeks of the season – primarily slapping hits to the opposite field – but on Tuesday he was able to get in front of a Hellickson changeup and slashed a line drive down the left field line and into the seats.
He never should have been at the plate in that spot: With a man on first and one out, Robinson Cano hit a grounder that appeared to get Hellickson out of the inning. But backup shortstop Difo’s relay throw was off the mark and forced fourth-string first baseman Gerardo Parra to stretch to try to make the grab. Parra managed to get his glove on the ball but couldn’t hold on.
Cano initially was called out, but that was overturned after a review. Pete Alonso followed with a single past Difo, and Michael Conforto walked to load the bases, bringing Ramos to the plate.
Hellickson went five-plus innings, charged with five runs and six hits.
Dominic Smith, pinch-hitting for Syndergaard in the ninth, hit his first homer of the year.
Mets INF Jed Lowrie strained his hamstring while in the minors to work his way back from an injured left knee and will head back to Florida. The 35-year-old Lowrie will be reassessed in a couple of weeks. He signed a $20 million, two-year contract as a free agent this offseason but felt pain in his left knee early in spring training and began the season on the injured list.
LHP Jason Vargas (left hamstring) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session; LHP Steven Matz (left forearm) planned to play catch. Both are eligible to come off the IL this week.
Mets RHP Wilmer Font (1-0, 5.50 ERA) makes his second start of 2019. He was acquired him from Tampa Bay on May 6.
Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (3-1, 3.20 ERA) makes his third start against the Mets this season. Corbin has a 3.75 ERA with 13 strikeouts, three walks and three homers allowed in 12 innings against New York. He doesn’t have a decision from either of those games; the teams split them.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)