Noah Syndergaard looked sharp in his brief but long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery, and the New York Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 2-1 in nine innings Tuesday night for a doubleheader sweep.
Javier Báez dashed home from third base with the winning run in extra innings as Anthony Bass (3-9) fumbled James McCann’s slow bouncer between the mound and home plate.
In the opener, Francisco Lindor homered and drove in three runs to help the Mets stop a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 triumph. Marcus Stroman went five innings for his 10th victory.
Syndergaard started the nightcap for New York, firing his first major league pitch in two years and finally completing a delayed comeback. With his long, blond hair blowing in the breeze, he topped out at 96 mph and struck out his first two batters in a perfect inning, throwing nine of 10 pitches for strikes.
That was all for his first time out.
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The 29-year-old right-hander, who can become a free agent after the season, received a couple of warm ovations from a Citi Field crowd of 20,647 dotted with Thor signs. Back in the dugout, he got hugs and pats on the chest from teammates when his short outing was over.
It was Syndergaard’s first major league game since Sept. 29, 2019.
He made a pair of rehab appearances last week for Triple-A Syracuse, working a scoreless inning each time.
Trevor Williams was initially pegged to start the nightcap, but about 2 1/2 hours before the first match, the Mets activated Syndergaard from the 60-day injured list and announced he would start Game 2.
Syndergaard and the Mets initially targeted a June return, but his rehab progression was slowed by a sore elbow that caused him to be shut down in late May for a while and then a positive test for COVID-19 in late August even though he is vaccinated.
All-Star rookie Trevor Rogers pitched five terrific innings in the second game for the Marlins, permitting one run and three hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
Rogers retired his first 11 batters, fanning five consecutive, before Báez singled to extend the longest on-base streak of his career to 21 games.
Jonathan Villar doubled in the fifth and scored on Kevin Pillar’s single to tie it.
Brad Hand (6-7) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets.
Miami took a 1-0 lead when rookie Jesús Sánchez clobbered a 445-foot homer on Williams’ first pitch in the second.
Rogers was initially scheduled to start the opener but Miami pushed him back to the nightcap to make sure wet weather didn’t force an abbreviated outing. He pitched well again but is 0-5 in 12 starts since his last win June 10 versus Colorado.
Lewin Díaz launched a two-run homer in the first game for the last-place Marlins, who have dropped seven straight.
Stroman (10-13) allowed two runs in his 33rd start this year — most in the majors — after sitting out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He could make one more in the season finale Sunday before becoming a free agent.
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