NEW YORK — David Ortiz got a good, close-up look at the New York Mets' young rotation this weekend and was impressed.
The Boston slugger left his own impression, too.
Ortiz lined his 494th home run and moved past Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 27th place on the career list while the Red Sox lost 5-4 Sunday, missing a chance to sweep the NL East leaders.
"I heard about Lou Gehrig when I was a kid," Ortiz said. "To move next to historical people, that's great."
Ortiz connected for his 28th homer this year, a two-run shot off hard-throwing rookie Noah Syndergaard in the sixth inning. Big Papi got to see young Mets aces Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom earlier in the series.
"The Mets, with that pitching staff, man, they're not too far from walking into the money," Ortiz said.
Ortiz, listed at 6-foot-3, found himself looking up at the imposing Syndergaard at first early in the game after the pitcher nicknamed "Thor" hit an RBI single.
"Big," Ortiz said, smiling. "He was throwing 99, 100 (mph)."
The last-place Red Sox won the first two games at Citi Field, and were trying for their first road sweep of the season. Against one of the best rotations in the majors, no less.
"We hear a lot about them," interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think we were up for a challenge."
Boston had won three in a row overall, one shy of its best streak this season.
Michael Cuddyer hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh as the Mets stopped their five-game home skid. He went 3 for 3 with a walk, and his go-ahead hit came after Daniel Murphy stole second base with two outs.
Tyler Clippard (2-0) got four outs for the win. Jeurys Familia worked around two singles to begin the ninth, striking out Mookie Betts with runners at the corners to close out his 35th save in 40 chances.
Robbie Ross Jr. (0-2) walked David Wright with one out in the seventh and Murphy grounded into a force play. Heath Hembree relieved and, after Murphy stole on the first pitch, Cuddyer singled through the left side.
Boston scored twice in the seventh to tie it at 4. Pinch-hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI double with two outs that finished Syndergaard. Hansel Robles relieved and, after Bradley stole third without a throw, Betts wound up with an odd, tying triple.
Betts hit a high fly that fell down the left field line far in front of Cuddyer as Wright and shortstop Ruben Tejada gave chase. Betts saw no one covering third, and easily beat Wright to the bag.
Red Sox: Lovullo said there's a "strong possibility" Hanley Ramirez will play first base later this season. The infielder-turned-outfielder has been working out at the new position, but is currently nursing a sore shoulder. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) will see a doctor in Boston on Monday as he progresses. ... C Ryan Hanigan, scratched Saturday with a calf problem, didn't start.
Red Sox RHP Junichi Tazawa will move back into the eighth-inning role and Jean Machi will be the closer, Lovullo said. Tazawa had been closing since Koji Uehara sustained a season-ending wrist injury, but struggled in that spot. "Takes time to get used to that last inning," Lovullo said.
Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart overthrew starter Wade Miley with a return toss in the sixth with a runner on second. The ball landed on the grass behind the mound and was quickly scooped up by the Boston infield without any advance.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5, 4.39 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park. He's 1-1 against New York this season.