WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon began the day without a homer and only five RBIs in 22 games this season. But his career performance helped lead to a record-setting day for the Nationals' offense in a 23-5 victory over the Mets on Sunday afternoon.
The Nats' 23 runs were the most in Nationals/Expos history, and their 23 hits and seven homers were the most since the team relocated to Washington in 2005. Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and a franchise-record 10 RBIs. Matt Wieters also hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs.
"It was a lot of runs," Wieters said.
The victory allowed the Nationals to avoid a three-game sweep. They set the tone at the start of the game with a five-run first inning off Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who took the mound three days after he was scratched from his last start with discomfort in his right biceps and a "tired arm." Even though his high velocity was present and he touched 100 mph with his fastball on a few occasions in the first, Syndergaard struggled with his command until he was removed from the game in the second inning with what the Mets called a "possible lat strain."
"Certainly, it was something we didn't need to see," manager Terry Collins said.
Rendon notched an RBI single in the Nats' big first frame before breaking out for a solo homer in the third and a three-run shot in the fourth, both off Mets left-hander Sean Gilmartin for Rendon's first career multi-homer game. In the fifth, Rendon just just missed a grand slam on a bases-clearing double off right-hander Noel Salas. Then he capped it off with a solo homer in the eighth inning against the Mets backup catcher Kevin Plawecki. It was a career-day Rendon could never remember matching at any point in his life.
"High school, I had three home runs, but that's high school," Rendon said. "Not the RBIs, I don't think."
• Here's how Rendon's 10-RBI game stacks up in history
Bryce Harper, who also homered off Plawecki, scored four runs to set the MLB record for runs in April at 32.
The offense helped mask an uneven start for Nats right-hander Joe Ross, who scuffled through his outing as he surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings. But the Nationals top-ranked offense continued to roll.
They have scored 77 runs in the past seven days. Washington became the first team in Major League history to score at least 14 runs five times in the month of April, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The defeat was New York's second-most lopsided in history, behind a 26-7 loss to the Phillies in 1985.
"It's tough," Mets catcher Rene Rivera said. "It's one of the hardest parts of the season. But at the same time, you've got to come back the next day and play hard, and do the best for the team."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Just missed more: The Mets elected to walk Daniel Murphy intentionally in front of Rendon in the fifth inning, even though the third baseman had already homered twice in the game, to set up a righty-righty matchup with Salas. And although he just missed a grand slam, Rendon's double off the wall in right field wall broke the Nationals' franchise mark for RBIs in game. Four previous players -- three Expos and one National -- had plated eight in a game. Rendon's eighth-inning homer put the final tally at 10.
"That was ridiculous," Ross said. "I was pretty impressed when Trea [Turner] hit for the cycle the other day. I mean he had six hits and three homers. I don't think he'll ever do that again. I mean, it's pretty ridiculous. He's swinging it. Everyone's swinging it pretty well."
Position player pitching: In order to save their bullpen, the Mets sent backup catcher Plawecki to the mound in the seventh inning. He retired the first three batters he faced to end the seventh, but the Nationals hammered him in the eighth inning. Harper, Adam Lind and Rendon all hit homers as Washington finished with four runs in the inning to cap off their offensive outburst.
"I was just happy to fill up the zone," Plawecki said. "If I can go out and eat two innings in a game like today, where it just kind of got out of hand a little bit, I'm happy to do it." More >
"I was just happy to fill up the zone." -- Plawecki, who did not walk a batter in two innings on the mound
SYNDERGAARD SET FOR TESTING
Syndergaard refused an MRI last week when he first began feeling right biceps discomfort, but was already on his way back to New York for one when Sunday's game ended. An MRI is scheduled for 7 a.m.
"I think he understands that there's something going on now that he needs to have examined," general manager Sandy Alderson said.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Before Rendon, no player had ever gone 6-for-6 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs. He was third player in MLB history with 6 hits and 10 RBIs, and the first since Cubs catcher Walker Cooper in 1949. The last player with 10 RBIs in a game was Garrett Anderson on Aug. 27, 2007, and Rendon was the first National League player with 10 RBIs since Mark Whiten had 12 in '93. More >
Mets: The Mets will make their inaugural trip to SunTrust Park on Monday, beginning a four-game series at the Braves' new Atlanta home. Rookie Robert Gsellman, who has given up at least three runs in each of his first four starts, will face fellow right-hander Julio Teheran in Monday's 7:35 p.m. ET opener.
Nationals: Following an off-day Monday, the Nationals welcome the D-backs into Washington for the start of a three-game series Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Tanner Roark will take the mound for the Nats against Arizona right-hander Taijuan Walker.
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