It was a marquee pitching matchup in Detroit Friday night — Noah Syndergaard vs. Justin Verlander. In the end, it was Verlander and the Tigers walking away with the win over the Mets.
Ian Kinsler got the Tigers on the board in the first almost by himself. He singled, stole second and third and scored on a ground out. Syndergaard has to learn how to keep runners close.
The Mets took the lead in the fourth when Kelly Johnson hit a two-run bomb to make it a 2-1 game. It was the second straight game in which Johnson has homered.
But it was short-lived. After Miguel Cabrera singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, Victor Martinez deposited a Syndergaard offering into the seats in right to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. J.D. Martinez then hit a ball to deep right. He tried for the double and Jay Bruce’s throw beat him to the bag, but Matt Reynolds could not get the tag down in time and he was safe. Or was he? Replays showed Martinez came off the bag and Reynolds tagged him. But somehow the Mets replay team missed it and Collins did not challenge. A bad play all around. Costly, too, because Martinez would come around to score to extend the lead to 4-2.
Both starting pitchers lasted six innings. Syndergaard allowed four runs on seven hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks. Verlander allowed two runs on four hits, with nine strikeouts and a walk.
The bullpens held, and the Tigers took the two run lead into the ninth with former Met Francisco Rodriguez on the mound. Neil Walker led off with a single. He went to second on a wild pitch. Jay Bruce grounded out to move Walker to third. James Loney hit a bullet to first. He was out, but Walker scored to bring the Mets to within a run. But Johnson could not come through again, grounding out to second to end the game.
Mets lose 4-3.