Mets’ Cano strains hamstring in 13-2 rout of Pirates
By WES CROSBY
PITTSBURGH — Just when Robinson Cano is starting to hit, the New York Mets star appears headed back to the injured list.
Cano limped off with a strained left hamstring, an injury that overshadowed Noah Syndergaard’s sparkling outing in a 13-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday that pulled New York within one game of .500 for the first time since mid-June.
Cano is to have an MRI on Monday, when the Mets open a homestand with a doubleheader against Miami.
“We don’t know what it is yet. We just are going to get it checked out tomorrow,” Cano said. “We will see what happens.”
Cano lined a hit to right in the fourth inning, his third hit of the game and ninth hit in his last 15 at-bats. He pulled up after rounding first and grabbed at the back of his leg. Melky Cabrera threw to shortstop Kevin Newman, who tagged out Cano.
“Once I feel something, I just stop,” Cano said. “I don’t want to keep running and whatever it is, make it worse.”
In his first season with the Mets after being acquired from Seattle, the 36-year-old was limited to one game between May 22 and June 16 because of a strained left quadriceps. He is hitting .252 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs.
New York, which won for the ninth time in 10 games, began the day four games back for the second NL wild card. The Mets had not been within one game of .500 since they were 33-34 before play on June 13.
Pittsburgh, wearing the gold and black throwback uniforms of the Pirates 1979 World Series champions, lost its seventh straight series and is 4-18 since the All-Star break. The Pirates are last in the NL Central at 48-63.
J.D. Davis hit a 449-foot home run into the fourth floor of the left-field rotunda, on a first-inning changeup from Joe Musgrove (8-10).
Syndergaard (8-5) allowed three hits, singled twice and pitched shutout ball into the seventh. After allowing Bryan Reynolds to single with one out in the first, Syndergaard didn’t give up another hit until Jose Osuna doubled with one out in the seventh. Colin Moran hit an RBI single later in the inning.
Syndergaard had multiple hits in a game for the first time since Sept. 27, 2016, against Miami and scored after each of his two singles. He said New York’s bats determined his approach early.
“When the offense explodes like that and really comes alive and gives me a nice cushion, it kind of changes the way I go out and pitch my game,” Syndergaard said. “A big lead like that, pop heaters in there.”
Michael Conforto homered on Musgrove’s third pitch, his 22nd home run this season, and Davis’ two-run homer put the Mets ahead 3-0.
Jeff McNeil also homered for the Mets, who led 6-0 by the third, 8-0 by the fourth and 11-0 by the sixth and 13-0 by the seventh.
Musgrove gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA to 4.69.
“You’re going to have days like this,” Musgrove said. “I have to sharpen a few things between starts, but sometimes you just have weird days like this.”
Jose Osuna homered in the ninth off Jeurys Familia.
BACK ON THE BENCH
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle returned to the dugout after serving his two-game suspension assessed for his involvement in a brawl between the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds on July 30.
Mets: RHP Jacob Rhame was placed on the 10-day IL with right elbow discomfort. … LHP Donnie Hart was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and pitched a perfect eighth inning, a day after he was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-7) and RHP Walker Lockett (1-1) are to start Monday against Miami.
Pirates: RHP Dario Agrazal (2-2) is slated to pitch against Milwaukee on Monday.