SAN DIEGO — Although Noah Syndergaard showed flashes of his considerable talent, the New York Mets’ highly touted rookie didn’t show enough.
Ian Kennedy threw six solid innings and outpitched the rookie sensation, leading San Diego to a 7-2 victory the night of June 2. Kennedy (3-5) snapped a four-start losing streak as he held the Mets to two runs and six hits.
Syndergaard (2-3) showed why he is so highly regarded, as evidenced by his 10 strikeouts. But San Diego touched Syndergaard for seven runs and 10 hits in four innings.
It was Syndergaard’s shortest of his five career starts. “It was definitely a frustrating start for me because I felt like I had some of the best stuff I had all year,” Syndergaard said. “I just didn’t get the job done.”
Derek Norris connected for a two-run homer off Syndergaard in the fourth and Alexi Amarista and Will Venable drove in two runs each in a four-run second inning.
“Obviously he didn’t locate the ball like he did before,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “The ball Venable hit, he left in the middle of the plate and the home run he didn’t keep down. As we know at this level, good stuff is great but you got to put it where you want to.”
The starting pitchers had opposite results coming into the game. Syndergaard had allowed just two earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings while walking one and striking out 16 in his last three starts.
Kennedy had struggled in his last four starts, allowing 20 runs and 24 hits — including seven homers — over 19 1-3 innings for a 9.31 ERA.
But they each did a complete turnaround. Kennedy allowed an RBI single to Michael Cuddyer in the first inning then gave up just two singles until the sixth. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two.
“Getting ahead of guys, getting it down,” Kennedy said when asked about the difference in his recent starts. “Just getting pitches over for strikes,” he added. “It makes a world of difference when you are ahead of guys.”
Syndergaard had his explosive fastball working but the Padres hit him hard early.
San Diego loaded the bases in the second on three straight singles. Amarista followed with a soft line drive that tipped off the top of Snydergaard’s glove, deflecting past second baseman Daniel Murphy into right field, allowing two runs to score.
After a sacrifice, Venable lined a ball past first and into the right-field corner for a two-run triple and a 4-0 lead.