Back burner: Syndergaard fans 2 in relief

Following abbreviated start, Thor brings heat to 7th in first career regular-season 'pen appearance

Back burner: Syndergaard fans 2 in relief

NEW YORK -- The morning after being ejected for throwing behind Chase Utley, Noah Syndergaard was already making his case for a quick return to the mound.

"I'm fresh," the right-hander tweeted Sunday following an abbreviated 34-pitch start in the Mets' loss to the Dodgers on Saturday at Citi Field. "Can be available from pen. Just saying."

Mets manager Terry Collins confirmed that Syndergaard could be used in the late innings of what ultimately was a 6-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night, and in the seventh inning Syndergaard emerged from the bullpen for his first career regular-season relief appearance.

As he trotted to the mound, the 23-year-old received a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd of 32,781 on hand as his warmup music "Carmina Burana" blared from the Citi Field speakers.

While toeing the rubber, Syndergaard did not disappoint -- tossing a scoreless frame, allowing only one runner to reach on an error, while striking out two.

"I wanted to be up 8-0 and to have him pitch in the ninth, but I didn't get that," Collins said. "In a one-run game, I had my choice with the top of the order coming up to either put [Hansel] Robles in and leave the bottom of the order for Noah in the eighth, but I thought getting the top half was most important, so I brought him in."

Robles entered in the eighth and allowed three runs, including Tyler Saladino's go-ahead two-run homer.

Syndergaard began his outing by striking out Adam Eaton on five pitches: a 100-mph fastball, two straight 101-mph fastballs, a 94-mph slider and finally a 101-mph fastball.

Brett Lawrie reached on an error by Asdrubal Cabrera on the ensuing at-bat and stole second after Syndergaard got Jose Abreu to fly out to center.

With a runner in scoring position and Todd Frazier, who had drilled a two-run homer the inning before, at the plate, Syndergaard ran the count full before getting the Chicago third baseman to swing over the top of a 92-mph changeup on the seventh pitch of the at-bat.

"He looked great out of the bullpen," catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "He made a big pitch to Frazier there with the changeup and got out of a jam there. He came out throwing gas and looked really good."

Nine of Syndergaard's 17 pitches clocked in at 100-plus mph, and 14 of them were for strikes.

Syndergaard's only other career relief appearance came in the seventh inning of Game 5 in last year's National League Division Series, when he also fired a scoreless frame.

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.