NEW YORK — Justin Upton and the San Diego Padres became the first major league team to face Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard more than once.
A second look hardly helped.
Syndergaard retired the first 18 batters in his latest overpowering performance, and New York got two-run homers from Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson to beat James Shields and the Padres 4-0 on Tuesday night.
"He throws pretty hard, and he was being aggressive," Shields said. "That's a tough guy to beat."
San Diego had its three-game winning streak snapped and was shut out for the 15th time this season, most in the majors.
Firing his fastball up to 98 mph, Syndergaard (5-5) struck out nine, walked none and allowed only three singles in eight innings. The big right-hander with the long, golden locks outpitched Shields and avenged a 7-2 loss at San Diego on June 2.
"He had good life and good command on his fastball. Anytime you throw as hard as he does and you put that combo together, you're going to be pretty good," San Diego's Jedd Gyorko said. "And the curveball. Obviously, he's got a pretty good curveball. If you can command the fastball with the velocity that he has, he's going to be pretty tough to get to."
Syndergaard gave up a career-high seven runs and 10 hits over four innings against the Padres in June, though he struck out 10 and walked none in that game.
"To be honest, I wasn't really thinking about that outing," he said. "A lot's happened in a month and a half."
This time, he barely got touched.
"His stuff was incredible," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said.
Making his 14th major league start, Syndergaard lost his bid for a perfect game when Will Venable lined a clean single up the middle on the first pitch of the seventh, prompting a warm ovation from the Citi Field crowd of 26,034.
Yangervis Solarte followed with an infield single, and Venable went to third on an error by shortstop Ruben Tejada.
That's when Syndergaard buckled down to protect a 2-0 lead. He retired No. 3 hitter Matt Kemp on a popup and got Upton to ground into an inning-ending double play.
"Just shows how he's progressing as a pitcher," Duda said.
Syndergaard gave a small fist pump as he walked off the mound and then pitched around Yonder Alonso's leadoff single in the eighth, striking out his final two batters. He threw 70 of 107 pitches for strikes and turned the game over to Tyler Clippard, who finished a four-hitter in his Mets debut after Granderson homered in the eighth.
"Noah put on a show tonight," Clippard said. "What I saw out there tonight was pretty special."
New York and San Diego entered with the lowest batting averages in the majors at .236, and it was the Mets who provided all the offense.
Daniel Murphy singled with two outs in the first and Duda drove an 0-2 pitch from Shields (8-4) halfway up a rarely reached section of stands just to the right of center field.
"It was a two-seam, and it might have been on the black," Shields said. "It was a pretty good pitch. He just pulled his hands inside and made a good swing on it. I mean, nothing else I can do about that."
Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares chased Shields with a leadoff double in the eighth, and Granderson homered into the second deck in right off Shawn Kelley.
Before the game, Upton said he isn't getting distracted by all the trade talk ahead of Friday's non-waiver deadline.
"I try not to worry about things that I can't control," he explained. "All that stuff is not important when you're out there. ... It's been the same thing every year."
Upton can become a free agent after the season.
"I think everybody's human," he said. "You hear your name being tossed around, that teams are interested. But you have to focus your energy on being professional."
Shields might be on the market, too.
"As far as I'm concerned, I think I'm going to be here for a while," he said. "That's why I signed with the Padres, not only to win now but to win in the next four years. I think we're still on the right track. We've just got to keep going."
Padres: RHP Brandon Morrow (shoulder) is slated to throw 60 pitches Thursday for Triple-A El Paso in his next rehab outing and will probably need one more after that before he is activated, assistant GM Fred Uhlman Jr. said. ... OF Wil Myers (wrist) was examined in Arizona by his surgeon following a recent setback and diagnosed with general soreness. He will continue therapy without hitting for the next five or six days and then be re-examined early next week. "We're going to be cautious with it," Uhlman said.
After returning this month from an 80-game drug suspension, Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was banned an additional 162 games Tuesday by Major League Baseball following a second positive test for performance-enhancing substances.
Padres RHP Tyson Ross (6-8) faces 42-year-old Bartolo Colon (9-9) in the middle game of the series Wednesday night.