Baseball

Wilson Ramos hits grand slam, Noah Syndergaard takes no-hitter into sixth in Mets win

Less than a week ago, the Mets returned from San Diego with issues. They were three games under .500 and it seemed fans were worried this group would fall off a cliff like it did last season.

New York may have quelled some of those fears – at least for now. It is still only May, but New York didn't let a poor road trip dictate what happened next.

With a 6-2 win over the Nationals at Nationals Park on Tuesday, the Mets are back even at 20-20. They have won three in a row, tying their longest winning streak of the season.

Perhaps the best news for the Mets: They play two more against Washington (16-25) and then head for three against the Marlins, who own baseball's worst record and have not yet beaten the Mets this season.

On Tuesday, the Mets were in control. Washington seemed lifeless on a chilly, windy evening.

Wilson Ramos, who entered the night hitting .235 this season and .192 in May, cleared the bases with a first-inning grand slam off Jeremy Hellickson. From there, Noah Syndergaard went to work and ensured the Ramos blast – only his second of the season – did not go to waste.

Syndergaard took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. His lost it when Wilmer Difo singled to right, but he never lost composure throughout his outing. Later in the sixth, Victor Robles cranked a two-run home run.

Still, Syndergaard never appeared to lose composure. He didn't allow another run the rest of the way.

He went eight innings, striking out six. He threw 102 pitches, 64 for strikes.

His still holds a 4.74 ERA, which, if the season ended today, would be the worst of his career. Syndergaard has allowed four or more runs in six of his nine starts to this point. However, Tuesday's start could represent a bounce-back outing for Syndergaard after he allowed four runs when he took the mound in San Diego (a game the Mets eventually won).

There was an early occurrence that may go unnoticed, but greatly impacted the game.

With one on and one out in the first inning, Robinson Cano hit into an inning-ending double play. When the teams were headed to their respective dugouts, the umpires stopped the game. New York wanted the play reviewed, and it was determined that Cano made it to first safely.

When play resumed, Pete Alonso singled and Michael Conforto walked. Bases loaded.

On a 1-0 count, Ramos launched a ball that, according to Statcast, left the bat at 104.2 mph and went an estimated 370 feet into the left-field seats. To this point, he hasn't produced like expected. But maybe this is something that can get him going in the right direction.

It also seemed fitting. Before the game, Mets manager Mickey Callaway was asked if Ramos' struggles would further open the door for Tomas Nido to earn more playing time.

Callaway backed up his catcher, saying that the Mets were 17-11 with Ramos behind the plate. Make it 18-11.

Ramos, along with Syndergaard, helped the Mets climb back to .500 with a chance to improve upon it the rest of the week.

Dominic Smith made a statement on Tuesday.

He blasted a ninth-inning home run to make it 6-2. Per Statcast, it left the bat at 108.5 mph and went an estimated 435 feet.

He returned to the team last week after being demoted the week before. He has played well in a part-time role with the big-league club, but it remains to be seen how long he'll stay.

Brandon Nimmo entered the evening as cold as can be.

He was hitting just .103 in May, only three hits over 37 plate appearances. His most memorable knock came when he drove in a run in San Diego.

At the time, it seemed that could help jumpstart him.

He never warmed up.

On Tuesday, Nimmo lined a double to center field, scoring Conforto. That made it 5-0 in the top of the sixth.

Will this be the hit that can help him snap out of the funk?

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