More injuries befall Mets in loss to first-place Nationals

Noah Syndergaard exited during Friday's fifth inning, having thrown just 79 pitches. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- What’s next for the New York Mets?

Locusts, maybe?

The Mets lost Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard to injuries during Friday’s game. They then lost to the Washington Nationals 3-1 at Citi Field.

Washington (52-36) restored a four-game division lead over the Mets (47-39).

Cespedes departed with a right quadriceps strain after three innings, while Syndergaard departed with what the Mets announced as “arm fatigue -- not elbow related” in the fifth.

Syndergaard was pulled with Jayson Werth batting and two outs. Syndergaard’s fastball velocity had sagged to the low 90s, prompting manager Terry Collins and assistant trainer Brian Chicklo to visit the mound.

Syndergaard has been dealing with a bone spur in his pitching elbow.

Before departing, Syndergaard surrendered a two-run homer to Clint Robinson in the second and an RBI double to ex-Met Daniel Murphy the following inning as Washington built a 3-0 lead. It was Murphy’s 15th RBI in 11 games against the Mets after defecting during the offseason.

Rookie Seth Lugo did capably step in after Syndergaard departed to save the bullpen. Lugo tossed two scoreless innings.

Stephen Strasburg held the Mets hitless until Asdrubal Cabrera opened the bottom of the fifth with a homer to get the Mets on the scoreboard. The Mets mustered two hits against Strasburg in seven innings.

The Mets did threaten in the eighth, when they placed runners on the corners with none out against Shawn Kelley. However, Blake Treinen ultimately coaxed an inning-ending double-play grounder from Juan Lagares as the Mets failed to score.

What’s next: Logan Verrett takes over Matt Harvey’s rotation spot. Verrett (3-5, 4.01 ERA) opposes right-hander Max Scherzer (9-6, 3.21) on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.