Syndergaard seeks to keep Mets on track vs. Padres

( - Not only will Noah Syndergaard being trying to build off his excellent outing from last time out, but the rookie hurler also gets the task of following up a gem from teammate Jacob deGrom.

The New York Mets certainly aren't complaining.

The Mets eye a third straight victory on Tuesday night when they resume a three-game set with the San Diego Padres.

Syndergaard would love to duplicate his most recent outing tonight when he makes his fifth career start and first against the Padres.

The 22-year-old righty has split his first four decisions and is coming off an excellent outing over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Syndergaard logged 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory, scattering six hits -- all singles -- while striking out six and not walking a batter.

"It's great being able to go that deep into the game and give the bullpen a little rest," said Syndergaard. "It's really easy to go out there and throw quality strikes when you put seven runs on the board."

While impressive on the mound in lowering his earned run average to 1.82, the young talent also hit a solo homer as part of a 3-for-3 day at the plate.

Ian Kennedy, meanwhile, tries to snap a four-start losing streak tonight for the Padres.

Kennedy has yielded 20 runs during his slide, but took the mound on Thursday against Pittsburgh coming off a tough-luck, 2-0 road setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers in which he yielded both runs over six innings.

However, Kennedy did little to help himself versus the Pirates in an 11-5 setback, charged with seven runs on seven hits and two walks in 3 2/3 frames of work. He served up three homers in a game for the second time in nine starts, falling to 2-5 with a 7.15 earned run average.

"We're trying to get consistency from Ian. No one feels worse about this than he does," Padres manager Bud Black said of his starter. "He's bummed."

The right-hander is 4-2 in eight career meetings with the Mets, but with a 4.66 ERA.

The starting pitchers played a big role in the Mets' 7-0 victory over the Padres on Monday night to begin this series.

Three years after Johan Santana threw the first and only no-hitter in Mets history, deGrom took a perfect game into the sixth inning and yielded just two hits with eight strikeouts over eight scoreless innings.

"This is as good as I've ever seen (deGrom) play," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Andrew Cashner opposed deGrom and earned an undesirable record during an odd night. Cashner struck out a career-high 12 batters but allowed six runs -- five earned -- on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

The San Diego right-hander became the first pitcher in MLB history to have double-digit strikeouts and allow double-digit hits without making it through five innings.

Daniel Murphy keyed the Mets' offense with four hits as he fell a triple shy of the cycle while collecting three RBI and scoring three times. Ruben Tejada had three hits with two runs scored in the win.

New York won for the fifth time in seven games and moved into a virtual tie with the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East. San Diego had won four of six coming in.

The Padres and Mets split six meetings a season ago.