Washington Nationals left fielder Ben Revere (9). Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON - New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard threw a sinker at 84 mph and leadoff man Ben Revere responded by hitting a solid single past the pitcher into center field.
That is how the bottom of the first inning began on Monday for the Washington Nationals, and it was a precursor for a night of base hits to nearly every corner of Nationals Park.
The Nationals had at least one hit in each of the first seven innings, and every starter -- including pitcher Joe Ross -- had at least one hit as the Nationals overcame a 4-0 deficit for an 11-4 victory over the Mets in the first of a three-game series between the two top teams in the National League East.
Syndergaard (8-3) went just three innings and allowed seven hits and five runs, and the Mets staff allowed a season-high 17 hits.
"I just wasn't able to locate. It is frustrating, kind of embarrassing," said Syndergaard, who was lifted after throwing just 71 pitches.
"That was enough," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "He was still throwing 98 to 100 miles per hour. Some of the sliders they hit, (there was) no depth to them. There are certain nights you still have to make pitches. Tonight he didn't. He felt OK. He said his arm felt fine. I wasn't going to chance it."
The tall right-hander had an MRI last week following a start on Wednesday but he said his elbow has no structural damage.
"You have to have a short-term memory. I felt really good," he said. "I just have to be ready to go in five days."
Ben Revere was 4-for-5 and stole three bases, Danny Espinosa was 3-for-5 and drove in two runs and Anthony Rendon was 2-for-4 and drove in three as the hit-happy Nationals won for the second day in a row following a losing streak of seven games.
"I think he's put together some great at bats," right fielder Bryce Harper said of teammate Revere, now hitting .220. "When he's got it going he's really fun to watch. He's fun to have as a table-setter."
The first-place Nationals (45-32) are now four games ahead of the Mets (40-35), who won two of three in Washington last month. Washington tied a franchise record with six steals in the game.
"There were quite a few hits out there and they helped us out with some walks. It was just a game of determination tonight," Washington manager Dusty Baker said.
Harper had two hits after batting just .232 in his previous 15 games. Daniel Murphy added two hits for Washington to lift his average to .350.
The winning pitcher was Ross (7-4), who gave up four runs in the first three innings but then settled down to pitch three scoreless frames before Felipe Rivero took over in the seventh.
"I think I just found that rhythm ... I picked it up the last three (innings)," Ross said.
Rendon had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to give the Nationals a 11-4 lead against reliever Erik Goeddel.
Travis d'Arnaud had three hits for the Mets, who have lost six of their last 10. Curtis Granderson, rookie Brandon Nimmo, Wilmer Flores and Yoenis Cespedes added two hits for New York.
New York took a 1-0 lead in the first as Granderson led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Neil Walker off Ross. Granderson had an RBI single in the second to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
New York got four straight hits to start the third. James Loney had an RBI double and Flores followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
But Washington stormed back in the third with five runs to take the lead at 5-4. The Nationals had four steals in the inning in addition to an RBI single by Harper, a fielder's choice RBI by Murphy, and RBI singles by Rendon and Espinosa.
That uprising sent Syndergaard to the showers as he was replaced by Sean Gilmartin.
Murphy drove in a run with a single in the fourth off Gilmartin to pad the margin to 6-4.
Espinosa, the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, had his third straight hit -- an RBI double -- to build the lead to 7-4 in the fifth. Revere drove in a run with a fielder's choice and Jayson Werth had a two-run double to make it 10-4.
A right-hander, Syndergaard entered Monday with an 8-2 record and a 2.08 ERA this season. But he was hit hard by the Nationals.
"You just have to battle. When we're down we're not really down. We have a great team," Harper said.
NOTES: Mets LF Brandon Nimmo, who made his major-league debut on Sunday, got his first big league hit with a single in the second inning. He also had an infield single in the third before he fanned in the fifth. ... The Nationals called up RHP and reliever Rafael Martin (1-3, 4.40 with Triple-A Syracuse) on Monday after RHP Stephen Strasburg went on the disabled list Sunday. ... Washington manager Dusty Baker also announced before Monday's game that RHP Lucas Giolito, one of the top prospects in the minors, will be called up to make his major-league debut on Tuesday against the Mets. Giolito, 21, has made 14 starts this year for Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League and is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 71 innings, with 72 strikeouts and 34 walks and 67 hits allowed. "He's ready for the task. I like what I saw in spring training," Baker said of Giolito. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said RHP Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.64) is slated to start Tuesday against the Nationals. ... The Nationals were coming off a three-city road trip, which saw the team go 3-7, as a win in Milwaukee on Sunday ended a seven-game losing streak. ... The Mets began a stretch Monday of 14 games in 14 days against the Nationals, Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins.