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Syndergaard shakes off HRs to halt road woes

Rookie right-hander strikes out nine over five innings vs. Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- The zero was plain to see, worrisome enough for the Mets to alter Noah Syndergaard's routine. Electric at home, Syndergaard had never won a road game entering Tuesday's play, thanks in large part to an ERA nearly three times as large away from Citi Field. So the Mets spent most of August tinkering with Syndergaard's pregame timing and workload, trying to make things as close to home as possible.

If Syndergaard was as worried as his superiors, he's not saying. After giving up four runs in five innings Tuesday to earn the win in a 6-5 Mets victory over the Phillies, the rookie shoved aside talk of his home-road splits.

"That's news to me, that that was my first road win," Syndergaard said. "I try not to pay too much attention to that. I just like going out there and giving a quality performance, letting the offense work and getting a victory out of it."

Though it was good enough thanks to a Mets offense averaging more than six runs per night over the past calendar month, Syndergaard's performance was nonetheless uneven. He allowed a pair of two-run homers in the third inning, though the second of them occurred only after Kelly Johnson's error extended the inning.

Outside of that, Syndergaard was dominant, striking out six of the first 10 batters he faced, nine in total and allowing just two other hits.

"His stuff was outstanding," manager Terry Collins said. "The one thing he's got to do is be able to get his secondary pitches over. When he does, he gets outs. Tonight, he didn't throw a lot of them for strikes. He was behind in the count a lot. But still, I have all the faith in him when he goes out there. You think this guy might throw a no-hitter."

That, Collins said, is as true on the road as it is at home, despite Syndergaard's 4.91 ERA there compared to a 1.82 mark at Citi Field. The zero in the win column is gone, at least, and that's the one that matters most to the Mets.

"Overall," Syndergaard said, "it was a good step in the right direction."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
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