NEW YORK -- A Mets team unable to stay healthy, unable to hit consistently and unable to stop hearing about any of it engineered a much-needed reprieve on Wednesday, flushing a month and a half of frustration in an 11-2 thumping of the Pirates at Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard pitched into the ninth inning, bidding for his first career shutout until David Freese chased him with an RBI double.
That could hardly distress a Mets team that saw every starter reach base at least once, including Syndergaard. Five hitters drove in at least one run, highlighted by Wilmer Flores' four RBIs. And a quartet of them crossed home plate multiple times, jumping on Pirates starter Jeff Locke for seven runs in four-plus innings.
The Mets, who entered the night last in the Major Leagues in runs scored and batting average since May 1, finished with a season-high 19 hits.
"Any time you get shut out and don't look very good and your fans are booing you, it's nice to go out there the next night and [succeed]," manager Terry Collins said. "You saw some better results tonight."
In between all the offense, Syndergaard was at his dynamic best. After giving up a leadoff single to John Jaso to open the game, Syndergaard retired 17 straight Pirates with seven strikeouts, dialing his fastball as high as 101 mph. It was Jaso who broke up that streak with another single, but Syndergaard recovered to retire another seven in a row from the sixth through the eighth.
Jaso, who broke up that streak as well, reached base three times in four plate appearances. The rest of the Pirates were 2-for-25 off Syndergaard.
"That was a huge game," Syndergaard said. "It was really fun to be a part of. The offense really came alive tonight. It was just a great team win all around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fantastic Flores: Continuing his tear since taking over for David Wright at third base, Flores blasted his third hit of the night over the left-field wall in the sixth for a two-run homer, part of a three-run rally that gave the Mets a double-digit lead. Flores, who also drove in runs in the first and fifth innings, finished with his fifth multihit game in his last 11 starts. More >
Fallible in the first: Locke put his offense in an early hole, allowing three runs in the first inning. He surrendered a pair of singles and a walk to start the game, before the Mets scored on a groundout from Flores and a two-run double from Matt Reynolds.
"There were some opportunities to make some better pitches tonight, but I've thrown that same game tons of times with different results," Locke said. "Just didn't work out tonight. ... I say it every week, you never know what's going to happen when the guy makes contact."
Thor drops the hammer: Syndergaard's run of 17 straight outs from the first into the sixth inning included seven strikeouts, six groundouts and four fly balls, all of them to center. Facing all but three batters with a multi-run lead, he finished with his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season. Syndergaard also reached 100 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings, the fastest in team history by that measurement. More >
"Any time you can throw 100-plus and have a good breaking ball, slider, curve, all of them good, you keep the hitters off-balance," catcher Rene Rivera said. "And you could see it today. They were off-balance."
Marte's early exit: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte unsuccessfully dove for a line drive off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes in the fifth inning. He extended his glove, but the ball landed in front of him, bounced off the grass and ricocheted off his face. He left the game and was replaced by Matt Joyce. More >
"It's a great feeling. We have the best fans in baseball. They're certainly rooting for you 100 percent of the time, pulling for you. I couldn't be happier to be a Met."
-- Syndergaard, on the ovation he received while departing in the ninth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Locke is the first pitcher to allow at least seven earned runs in consecutive starts while giving up at least 18 earned runs total over that span since the Phillies' David Buchanan did the same from Aug. 6-11, 2015.
Pirates:Juan Nicasio looks to rebound in Thursday's series finale vs. the Mets at 7:10 p.m. ET after allowing six earned runs in one inning of relief Friday against the Cardinals. He's made 11 starts this season but is winless in five starts on the road.
Mets:Bartolo Colon will continue working on a renaissance season when the Mets and Pirates close out their series at Citi Field. Over his last four starts, Colon is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, despite averaging just two strikeouts per outing.
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