LOS ANGELES -- Noah Syndergaard became the second pitcher in club history to launch two homers in a game, powering and pitching the Mets to a 4-3 win over Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
"This is a dream," Syndergaard said. "It was an awesome experience."
On the mound, Syndergaard (3-2) allowed solo home runs to Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal, but struck out six in eight innings. At the plate, Syndergaard matched Walt Terrell's 33-year-old club single-game record for home runs by a pitcher and tied the franchise mark for single-game RBIs by a pitcher with four (seven others).
"The nine-hitter hit two home runs and drove in four runs. You don't see that every day," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Syndergaard homered to right-center leading off the third inning and blasted a three-run shot to center in the fifth inning after squaring to bunt, but not offering, on all previous pitches of the at-bat against Maeda. It was the first multi-homer game by a pitcher since Arizona's Micah Owings in 2007. Syndergaard came into the game 0-for-8 with six strikeouts this year.
"It's one of those where [Syndergaard] couldn't execute, so the manager says, 'OK, just try to hit, you already homered once,'" Roberts said of Syndergaard's second home run. "Pitcher hit a breaking ball, backdoor, down and away, out of the ballpark. You probably don't see that again all year. I was in disbelief. Outside of those two pitches to Syndergaard, it's a 2-0 win."
Maeda (3-2), who has lost two of his last three starts, was charged with four runs on six hits in five-plus innings, his shortest start as a Dodger. According to StatsPass' Home Run Search, Maeda is just the second Dodgers pitcher to allow multiple home runs in a single game to pitchers, joining Doug McWeeny, who allowed homers to the Pirates' Erv Brame and Fred Fussell on July 7, 1929, in the Brooklyn Robins' 17-6 loss at Ebbets Field.
"They were definitely not good pitches, the ones that he hit for home runs," said Maeda. "It ended up being a regrettable result contributing to a total of four runs."
Jeurys Familia allowed a ninth-inning run, but picked up the save and is 12-for-12 in those opportunities.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Thor strikes twice: Syndergaard's homers both gave the Mets a lead. The pitcher's first home run was impactful enough, a 402-foot shot to open the scoring in the second inning. But it was his second homer that proved most significant, turning a one-run deficit into a two-run lead. Syndergaard became the first Mets pitcher to drive home four runs in a game since Steven Matz in his big league debut last June.
"I know he's got big-time power, but that was a huge home run," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Syndergaard's second homer in particular. "That was a huge night for Noah." More >
Maeda dodges one bullet: The Mets had runners on first and third with one out in the second inning when Eric Campbell hit a possible double-play bouncer to shortstop Seager, who instead threw home for the second out. But Maeda struck out Rene Rivera to end the inning. More >
He pitched, too: Don't let Syndergaard's accomplishments at the plate overshadow his work on the mound. That, after all, is his primary job, and Syndergaard performed it Wednesday with aplomb. After giving up early home runs to Seager and Grandal, the right-hander retired 11 straight from the fourth through eighth innings. Though Syndergaard completed eight innings in only 95 pitches, Collins did not send him out for the ninth.
"I felt really comfortable out on the mound today, a little strong," Syndergaard said. "I was able to repeat my delivery pretty easily. All in all, I felt pretty good out there."
Dodgers in relief: The streaky Dodgers' bullpen has not allowed an earned run (one unearned run) in its last 15 innings over five games, striking out 21. Joe Blanton struck out four Mets in two innings in this game. Chris Hatcher inherited two runners from Maeda and stranded them, while Adam Liberatore handed a bases-loaded jam to Louis Coleman and he struck out Campbell to end the seventh inning.
"The 'pen is hitting their stride right now," said Roberts.
"The guy's an animal. He's a big, strong kid. He's Thor." -- Mets second baseman Neil Walker on Syndergaard
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Over their last full turn of the rotation, Mets starting pitchers are batting .400 with three homers, four runs scored, seven RBIs and a 1.533 OPS. Only Jacob deGrom is hitless over that stretch.
According to StatsPass' Home Run Search, Maeda is just the second Dodgers pitcher to allow multiple home runs in a single game to pitchers, joining Doug McWeeny, who allowed homers to the Pirates' Erv Brame and Fred Fussell on July 7, 1929, in the Brooklyn Robins' 17-6 loss at Ebbets Field.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: If Bartolo Colon wishes to keep the pitching staff's bats rolling at the plate, he'll need to do so against three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Those two will square off in a 10:10 p.m. ET finale Thursday at Dodger Stadium, with the series in the balance.
Dodgers: Kershaw starts for the Dodgers in the 7:10 p.m. PT series finale. Kershaw enters having struck out at least 10 without a walk in each of his last three starts. He is 6-0 in nine regular-season starts against the Mets.