Noah Syndergaard had his way with the Dodgers on Wednesday night, leading the Mets to a 4-3 win in the back-and-forth series at Dodger Stadium. But it wasn't just his work on the mound that garnered the appropriate acclaim. Syndergaard homered twice in the win, joining a select group of pitchers.
The Mets pitcher homered to right center field in the third inning off Kenta Maeda to open the scoring.
But the Dodgers slowly clawed back, with solo home runs by Corey Seager in the third inning and Yasmani Grandal in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.
Syndergaard batted again in the fifth inning, though with runners on first and second with nobody out he was squared to bunt. After taking four pitches, including two strikes, Syndergaard swung away and launched a ball over the wall in center field, giving the Mets a 4-2 advantage.
So even with the neutral home run exchange of Syndergaard both hitting and allowing two long balls, the Dodgers found themselves behind thanks largely to Maeda hitting Eric Campbell and walking eighth-place hitter Rene Rivera directly before Syndergaard's second blast.
Syndergaard is the first major league pitcher to hit two home runs in a game since Micah Owings did so for Arizona on Aug. 18, 2007.
He is the first pitcher with two home runs against the Dodgers since Lew Burdette of Milwaukee on July 10, 1958.
Syndergaard is one of only two pitchers to hit two home runs in a game at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962. The other was Darren Dreifort, who did so on Aug. 8, 2000 against the Cubs.
The four RBI for Syndergaard tied a record for a pitcher at Dodger Stadium, done five other times, the last by Jake Peavy for San Diego on July 26, 2006.
Even with the home runs allowed, Syndergaard had a fine night on the mound, which included six strikeouts and a walk in eight innings for this third win of the year.
There was also this:
Noah Syndergaard is the only pitcher in the 100/100 club so far this year... Throw a pitch 100 MPH and hit one 100 MPH.— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 12, 2016
A double to the wall by Neil Walker in the sixth inning ended an 0-for-22 slump, and it put runners on second and third base with nobody out, ending Maeda's shortest night in the bigs to date. It was the first time in seven major league start the right-hander failed to last at least six innings.
It also snapped a string of 10 straight games with at least six strikeouts by a Dodgers starting pitcher, the club's franchise record dating back to at least 1913. Maeda struck out three in his five-plus innings.
It could have been worse for Maeda and the Dodgers, but Chris Hatcher stranded both runners in scoring position in recording the three outs of the sixth inning, including the final two by strikeout.
The Dodgers try for a series split on Thursday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound in the finale. The Mets turn to ageless wonder Bartolo Colon.
Home runs: Corey Seager (3), Yasmani Grandal (2); Noah Syndergaard 2 (2)
WP - Noah Syndergaard (3-2): 8 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP - Kenta Maeda (3-2): 5+ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Jeurys Famila (12): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout