NEW YORK — Noah Syndergaard became the first pitcher in 36 years to homer and throw a shutout in a 1-0 victory, lifting the Mets over the Reds on Thursday afternoon.
Syndergaard (2-3) struck out 10 and held the Reds to four singles and a walk, shaking off a sloppy start to the season with a do-it-all effort.
Syndergaard hit his second homer of the season off Reds starter Tyler Mahle (0-4) in the third inning, driving a ball 407 feet to the opposite field in left-center. Syndergaard has hit six career homers in 316 at-bats in 163 games.
Reds manager David Bell and left fielder Jesse Winker were ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster in the ninth inning after Winker was called out on strikes. Winker struck out three times in the game.
Winker got an earful from Mets fans after waving tauntingly at the Citi Field faithful following a pair of victories earlier in the series. Winker was booed prior to his first at-bat and waved at sarcastically by fans after striking out in the first and sixth.
“That’s baseball,” Winker said of all the heckling. “We’re playing on the road. Fans always get on you. It’s part of the game. It’s fun. It’s fan interaction. I think that’s what the game wants.”
Mahle was good enough to win. He gave up four hits, allowed no walks and struck out seven in five innings. But he said Syndergaard's power didn't surprise him.
“We knew he’s a good hitter,” Mahle said. “And I just tried to throw a fastball away, figured to get ahead, and it wasn’t a very competitive pitch and he made me pay for it.”
“I got that one pretty good,” said Syndergaard, who bats left-handed but throws right-handed.
“It looked like a righty hit it,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “A power-hitting righty.”
The previous pitcher to homer in a 1-0 complete-game win was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Bob Welch against the Reds on June 17, 1983, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Reds threatened in the ninth, putting a runner on second with two outs. Derek Dietrich hit a two-out single and pinch-runner Michael Lorenzen stole second, but Syndergaard struck out Yasiel Puig looking to end it.
It was the second straight 1-0 game in the series. Reds shortstop Jose Iglesias homered in the ninth inning to win Thursday night’s game.
Syndergaard, who came in with a 6.35 ERA., posted just the third complete-game shutout in the majors this season, following Colorado’s Márquez and Texas’ Mike Minor.
The right-hander had said chilly temperatures were making it difficult to grip the ball in previous starts. Working under sunny skies for a rare noon start, the pitcher nicknamed Thor for his long blonde hair busted out thunder and lightning in broad daylight.
“It was nice to be able to pitch in some nice weather,” Syndergaard said.
Syndergaard’s shot was the 11th homer by a pitcher in the majors this season, on pace to easily surpass the 34 such drives in 2003 for the most since the introduction of the designated hitter in 1973.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto was out of the lineup for rest but entered as a pinch hitter.
Mets: C Wilson Ramos took Winker’s foul tip off his right knee in the third. He crumpled in pain and was visited by a trainer but remained in the game. ... 1B Pete Alonso was held out of the lineup to rest but pinch hit for Dominic Smith in the sixth.
Reds: Return home for four games against San Francisco. RHP Sonny Gray (0-4, 3.64) entered Thursday ranked seventh in wins above replacement (1.1, per Fangraphs). He’ll try for his first win against RHP Tyler Beede.
Mets: Begin a six-game trip with the first of three at Milwaukee. LHP Steven Matz (3-1, 3.68) will face Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-1, 5.17).