PITTSBURGH — The Mets’ nearly perfect road trip came to an imperfect end Sunday as Robinson Cano suffered a strained left hamstring during their 13-2 win over the Pirates.
That was about the only downside to the most lopsided victory of the year for the Mets, who won a fourth series in a row and have won nine of their past 10 games. After going 5-1 against the White Sox and Pirates, the Mets head home three games out of a wild-card spot at 55-56, the closest they have been to .500 since June 11, when they were 33-34.
Noah Syndergaard cruised through seven innings of one-run ball and six Mets had multiple hits. Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis homered in the first inning — Davis’ went off the fourth story of a circular walkway beyond leftfield — and Jeff McNeil went deep in the seventh.
The injury to Cano, though, tempered some of the ensuing excitement.
“Obviously, that’s a tough one,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He started swinging the bat well. It’s just tough.”
Cano (3-for-3) got hurt in the fourth, when he pulled up lame after rounding first on what looked like his third double. He immediately grabbed the back of his left leg, walked gingerly to the dugout and was replaced at second base by McNeil. He will get an MRI and be re-evaluated Monday in New York.
Cano, 36, already has gone on the injured list with a strained left quadriceps twice this year, once in May and once in June. He has four years and $96 million left on his contract.
Among the Mets’ internal infield options if Cano is officially sidelined again: Luis Guillorme (pulled from Triple-A Syracuse’s game right after Cano got hurt), Dilson Herrera and Ruben Tejada.
The injury is particularly poorly timed considering Cano’s bat had seemed to be coming around. Since ending a career-high 0-for-23 slump, Cano has gone 10-for-17, including four consecutive multi-hit games and five extra-base hits.
“I don’t really focus on me getting hot,” he said. “The way we’ve been playing and winning games, see what happens tomorrow and see how it’s going to be.”
The Mets hammered Joe Musgrove for eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1⁄3 innings. Todd Frazier (3-for-5, three RBIs) knocked him out with a two-run single.
“We kept our foot on their throat, and that’s what we needed,” Callaway said. “We didn’t miss our pitches. He got the ball up out over the plate a few times and we hit it, got on him early and didn’t back down.”
Syndergaard limited Pittsburgh to three hits and a walk as he lasted at least seven innings for a fifth consecutive start (posting a 1.78 ERA in that stretch). His ERA is 3.96, below 4.00 for the first time since his first inning of the season.
Especially satisfying to Callaway: Syndergaard going deep helped save the bullpen, and all of the Mets’ relievers will be available Monday for a doubleheader against the Marlins.
“When the offense explodes like that, really comes alive and gives me a nice cushion, it changes the way I pitch my game,” Syndergaard said. “Pop heaters in there and let them get themselves out.”
The doubleheader is a major opportunity. A sweep would mean a winning record for the first time since May 2. The Mets’ goals are bigger than reaching and surpassing .500, though.
“I don’t think that means anything, if you want the truth,” Frazier said. “I think the mark is to get to the playoffs.”
Noah Syndergaard has gone at least seven innings in his last five starts.
DATE OPP IP ER K/BB
7/13 MIA 7 2 9/0
7/18 SF 7 1 8/1
7/24 SD 7 3 8/5
7/30 CHW 7.1 0 11/1
8/4 PIT 7 1 3/1
ERA 1.80 K/BB 39/8