Strasburg Outduels Syndergaard to Clinch First Half Lead

NEW YORK — Stephen Strasburg stayed undefeated, winning a marquee pitching matchup against an ailing Noah Syndergaard by tossing seven innings of two-hit ball Friday night that sent the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the banged-up New York Mets.

Clint Robinson hit a two-run homer for the Nationals, going deep for the second consecutive night, and Daniel Murphy added an RBI double against his former team. Strasburg (12-0) struck out nine and became the first National League pitcher in 104 years to win his first 12 decisions in a season.

Oliver Perez and Blake Treinen combined to escape an eighth-inning jam, and Washington extended its NL East lead to four games over the Mets after dropping the opener of the four-game series Thursday night.

Syndergaard (9-4) and slugger Yoenis Cespedes left early with injuries — hours after New York announced that struggling pitcher Matt Harvey will have season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

Cespedes was pulled after three innings with a strained right quadriceps. The slugger made a sliding catch in shallow center field in the top of the third and was replaced by Juan Lagares in the fourth.

Syndergaard exited in the fifth with arm fatigue that was not elbow-related, the Mets said. The big right-hander has been pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow that he called “pretty insignificant.”

Cespedes and Syndergaard were both selected for the All-Star Game on Tuesday in San Diego.

Strasburg also was picked for the NL squad but was replaced on the roster Friday by Washington teammate Max Scherzer. Strasburg came off the disabled list this week and won’t pitch in the Midsummer Classic as a precaution. The right-hander is from San Diego and plans to attend the game, the Nationals said.

After tossing 6 2/3 innings Sunday against Cincinnati in his return from an upper back strain, Strasburg was pulled with a no-hitter intact because he had already thrown 109 pitches.

This time, he held New York without a hit until Asdrubal Cabrera homered leading off the fifth. Brandon Nimmo followed with a single, but the Mets didn’t do much else until the eighth.

Wilmer Flores opened the inning with a double off Shawn Kelley and Jose Reyes reached on an infield single. Perez, the loser Thursday night after giving up a go-ahead homer to Flores, got Curtis Granderson to pop out before Lagares grounded into an inning-ending double play against Treinen.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.

It was the first matchup between Syndergaard and Strasburg, who improved to 3-0 in three starts against the Mets this year and became the first NL pitcher to start 12-0 since Rube Marquard opened 18-0 for the New York Giants in 1912.

Washington improved to 15-1 in Strasburg’s outings this season.

New York dropped to 7-2 on an 11-game homestand, its longest of the season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left rib cage strain.

UP NEXT

Scherzer (9-6, 3.21 ERA) pitches Saturday night against RHP Logan Verrett (3-5, 4.01), who starts in place of Harvey.

 

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(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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