CINCINNATI -- The magic number is down to one.
Noah Syndergaard took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and Lucas Duda delivered a pair of three-run homers to finish with a career-high six RBIs as the New York Mets routed the Cincinnati Reds 12-5 on Friday to move to the brink of clinching their first division title since 2006.
The Mets (87-67) lead the Washington Nationals (78-75) by 8½ games for first place in the National League East. The Amazin’s would need to lose out and the Nats would need to run the table for a one-game tiebreaker to be required at Citi Field on Oct. 5.
Syndergaard began his major league career winless in his first nine road starts. Now he is unbeaten and has posted a 2.29 ERA in his past three games away from Citi Field.
Jason Bourgeois opened the bottom of the first with a double, but Syndergaard coaxed three straight fly outs and stranded the leadoff hitter at third base.
In the third, Syndergaard began a streak of 16 straight retired batters, until a two-out homer in the eighth by Brennan Boesch broke up the shutout bid. Syndergaard was charged with two runs on five hits while striking out 11 in a 104-pitch effort spanning 7 2/3 innings. He departed with a runner on first base, which Eric O’Flaherty allowed to score. The Reds tacked on two more runs against O’Flaherty and Bobby Parnell in the frame.
Syndergaard is now 38 2/3 innings over last year’s total with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Michael Conforto doubled and Syndergaard (2-for-3) delivered a two-out single in the second against Anthony DeSclafani to open the scoring. In the third, Duda contributed the first of his pair of three-run homers. Duda capped a five-run seventh with a three-run shot against reliever Tony Cingrani. Curtis Granderson had a three-run homer in the eighth against JJ Hoover to open a 12-0 lead.
Duda now has eight RBIs in two days. Before the production in the opening two games of this series, Duda had only two RBIs in 14 games this month since returning from a herniated disk.
The Mets, who scored only 23 runs during a 3-6 homestand, have produced 18 runs in two victories in Cincinnati.
Ouch: Juan Uribe looks like he will be sidelined for a while. Uribe, who suffered what was diagnosed as a deep chest bruise diving for a grounder on Sunday, pinch hit in the eighth inning on Friday. Uribe departed after grabbing his chest upon starting to swing at a pitch. He exited with a 2-2 count and was replaced at the plate by Eric Campbell.
What’s next: Innings-capped Matt Harvey starts for the Mets in the potential clincher ... for however long his outing lasts. Harvey (12-7, 2.80 ERA) opposes left-hander John Lamb (1-3, 4.60) in Saturday’s 4:10 p.m. ET game.