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Thor's homer helps Mets solve D-backs

August 17, 2016

PHOENIX -- Noah Syndergaard helped the Mets avoid falling back below .500, prevented them from losing ground in the National League Wild Card race and ended a personal winless drought on Tuesday night. The right-hander notched his first victory since July 3, even helping himself out with a two-run homer,

PHOENIX -- Noah Syndergaard helped the Mets avoid falling back below .500, prevented them from losing ground in the National League Wild Card race and ended a personal winless drought on Tuesday night. The right-hander notched his first victory since July 3, even helping himself out with a two-run homer, as New York topped the D-backs, 7-5, at Chase Field.
Syndergaard (10-7) allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts. T.J. Rivera collected four hits and Kelly Johnson homered to help the Mets beat the D-backs for the first time in five games this season.
"I thought in the middle innings he was really throwing the ball great," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He was moving the ball in and out. I like to see him throw a few more changeups because I think that's a good pitch for him, but he threw the ball very well tonight."
After Jeurys Familia worked a perfect ninth inning to become the first closer in the Majors to reach 40 saves, the Mets found themselves three games behind the Cardinals in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Arizona starter Braden Shipley (2-2) lost for the first time since dropping his Major League debut on July 25. The right-hander allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in five-plus innings with a walk and no strikeouts.
"They did a good job the second, third time through the order, just recognizing what I was throwing for strikes and picking a pitch to sit on," Shipley said. "The home run to Syndergaard, I'm just going to challenge him right there, didn't want to walk him. He did a nice job with it."
Jean Segura roped three hits, Yasmany Tomás homered and Mitch Haniger had a three-RBI big league debut, but the D-backs lost for the fourth time in five games.
"Every time I looked up they were hitting doubles, and it's nice that we were hitting doubles for a change," Collins said. "We had not swung the bats very well against them, and tonight we got some opportunities."
Thor brings the thunder: Syndergaard crushed a 3-2 fastball from Shipley in the fifth inning and deposited it 415 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™. The two-run homer came off the bat at 108.2 mph -- the third-hardest-hit homer by a pitcher in the Statcast™ era -- and pushed the Mets ahead, 3-1. Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has the top two, at 111 and 109.4 mph.
What's more, the home run was Syndergaard's third of the season, tying a Mets record for a pitcher. Walt Terrell hit three home runs in 1983 and Tom Seaver hit three in 1972.

Not quite like last time: Shipley tossed seven scoreless innings against the Mets on Thursday. He started off just as well this time, blanking New York for the first four innings and having retired eight in a row entering the fifth. However, that was when it unraveled for Arizona's No. 1 prospect, as Shipley gave up four runs in the frame on five hits, four of which went for extra bases. He was lifted in the sixth after giving up Johnson's homer, a single and a double without recording an out.
"I wish I could have got him out of there a little quicker," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "In retrospect, obviously you take him out probably after the fifth if we knew what was going to happen in the sixth. But it happened quickly." More >

Johnson goes deep: Johnson stung his former team with a home run to lead off a three-run sixth inning that pushed the Mets ahead, 7-1. Johnson, who played for Arizona in 2010 and '11, finished 1-for-3.

Tomas' tear continues: Tomas clubbed a homer for the second straight game when he gave the D-backs a 1-0 lead in the fourth. The ball left Tomas' bat at 110 mph, per Statcast™, before hitting the left-field foul pole. Tomas has six homers in his last nine games and 10 over his last 18. He ranks second on the team with 23 homers, behind Jake Lamb's 24.

Haniger immediately made an impact upon being promoted from Triple-A Reno before the game. Haniger went 2-for-4, tripling in a pair of runs in the sixth for his first career hit. He doubled in another run in the seventh. Haniger is the first player in franchise history to record a triple as his first career hit and also the first D-backs player to drive in three runs in his debut.
"Great feeling, that's what I dreamed about," Haniger said. "Just trying to swing at good pitches, keep everything simple. That's been my approach, and I'm just trying to stick to that, whether it's in the Minor Leagues or in the big leagues." More >

"These past five days, I've spent a lot of time on the mound trying to get back on track and get outside of my comfort zone, in terms of changing my mechanics a little bit and staying closed longer and using my lower half to generate a lot of force, and I think it really showed out there on the mound." -- Syndergaard, on his improved velocity on Tuesday
The D-backs won a challenge to extend the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Segura hit a grounder to third at Rivera, who had already committed two errors in the inning. This play wasn't another error, but Segura did beat out Rivera's throw for an infield single, which he was awarded after the initial out call was overturned.

Mets:Jonathon Niese (8-6, 5.20 ERA) will take the mound on Wednesday at 9:40 p.m. ET at Chase Field for his first start for the Mets since being acquired from Pittsburgh at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The left-hander, who was traded to the Pirates by the Mets in December, appeared in 23 games for Pittsburgh, going 8-6 with a 4.91 ERA. He's made four relief appearances since joining the Mets.
D-backs:Zack Godley takes the mound for the series finale at 6:40 p.m. MST on Wednesday at Chase Field. Godley (3-2, 5.24 ERA) is moving back into the starting rotation after making his last three appearances out of the bullpen. The right-hander has a 5.61 ERA in six starts this season.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jake Rill is a reporter for based in Phoenix who covered the D-backs on Tuesday.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for based in Phoenix who covered the Mets on Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.