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Syndergaard enjoys best start of Vegas tenure

MIAMI -- In the end, Mets top prospect Noah Syndergaard responded to the criticism that he received last week, not with words, but with dominance on the field.

Making up the start he missed last Friday due to illness, Syndergaard delivered the best statistical outing of his Triple-A Las Vegas career on Monday, throwing a two-hitter with nine strikeouts in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Albuquerque. Because Minor League doubleheaders consist of two seven-inning games, Syndergaard's effort was a complete game.

The shutout came in Syndergaard's first start since April 18, due to a stomach ailment that forced him out of Friday's game. That afternoon, Syndergaard exchanged words on Twitter with a fan who criticized him for skipping the start, prompting Mets management to speak with him about the issue. General manager Sandy Alderson later called Twitter "more of a trap than a means of positive communication for athletes and executives."

The Mets could only have been pleased with Syndergaard's response on the mound, particularly considering how soon it came after his illness. The Mets still have big plans for Syndergaard, their top overall prospect and the 11th-ranked player on's 2015 Prospect Watch. Though Rafael Montero currently stands ahead of him on the depth chart and is set to make a spot start for the Mets on Tuesday, Syndergaard could join the big club early this summer.

Monday's outing lowered his season ERA from 4.70 to 2.45. Syndergaard has struck out 16 batters with six walks in 14 2/3 innings.

The Mets also received another two-hit game from second baseman Dilson Herrera, who improved his batting average to .378, and a three-hit night from shortstop Matt Reynolds. Both are expected in the big leagues at some point this summer.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.
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