BUFFALO, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets roared back late in Wednesday night’s ballgame, scoring five runs in the eighth inning to grab the lead for good on their way to an 8-7 win at the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A Toronto Blue Jays) on a mid-50s night in Western New York. The Mets needed a win in the worst way on Wednesday night as Syracuse had lost eight of its last nine games prior to the Wednesday.
Entering the top of the eighth, it appeared Syracuse (16-19) doomed to lose their ninth game in their last ten. However, this resilient bunch wouldn’t let it happen. Syracuse sent ten men to the plate in the frame, scoring five times on six hits to surge in front by a 7-5 advantage. Highlights from the pivotal inning included an RBI double from Ronny Mauricio that tied the game, 5-5, and an RBI single from Mark Vientos to give the Mets a 6-5 lead. The pair finished the game a combined 5-for-9 at the plate with three singles, two doubles and four runs scored. Tim Locastro started the scoring fun in the top of the eighth with an RBI triple that plated Jaylin Davis to make it a 5-3 ballgame. Locastro has gone 5-for-13 at the plate in the past three games with a triple, two home runs, six RBIs, and three runs scored. Gary Sánchez chipped in an RBI as well, capping off an excellent Syracuse Mets debut on Wednesday. The former American League All-Star finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with two singles, a walk, and an RBI.
Buffalo (14-21), to their credit, would not go away. The Bisons scored a run in the eighth via a Spencer Horwitz RBI single to make it a 7-6 game entering the ninth.
In the ninth, Davis smacked a solo home run for a massive insurance run for Syracuse, making it an 8-6 game.
The Mets needed that extra run, as the Bisons went down swinging in the bottom of the ninth. First, Lopez and Eden reached via a single and a hit batter respectively with one out in the frame. Then, Tanner Morris nearly ended the game, flying out to the center-field warning track. That made two outs in the inning, but the Bisons weren’t done. Rafael Lantigua walked to load up the bases, followed by an Ernie Clement infield single that made it an 8-7 game and kept the bases loaded. With the game hanging in the balance, the Mets went back to the bullpen to try and finally shut the door. Nate Lavender came out of the ‘pen and did the job, striking out Horwitz to leave the bases loaded and end the game with Syracuse as 8-7 winners.
Early on, it looked like it would be Buffalo’s night. The Bisons roared out to a 4-1 lead entering the top of the seventh. The home team plated a pair of runs in the second, aided by four walks, and another pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tanner Morris had an RBI single in the fourth and later came around to score from third base on a passed ball.
The only time Syracuse scored in the first six innings came via some familiar faces. With one out in the third, Danny Mendick hit a slow-rolling ground ball down the third-base line. The Buffalo third baseman, LJ Talley, threw poorly to first base trying to throw out Mendick, allowing Danny to take first on an infield single and then dash to second on the throwing error. After a Mauricio groundout, Vientos made sure the inning wouldn’t go to waste. Vientos grounded a sharp single into left field, plating Mendick and putting the Mets on the board.
In the seventh, Syracuse scored again to slim the lead when Mauricio doubled leading off the inning and the next batter, Vientos, singled him home. Vientos had three RBI singles during the game.
However, Buffalo pushed the lead back up to three when they scored a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Tyler Heineman walked and then moved to third on a single from Otto Lopez. A poor pickoff throw trying to nab Lopez at first promptly allowed Heineman to come the final 90 feet home and make it a 5-2 game before Syracuse’s comeback in the eighth.
The first two games in this six-game series have not lacked for excitement and drama. In the first game of the series on Tuesday night, the two teams combined for 19 runs and 24 hits in a game that took more tham three hours and lasted ten innings. On Wednesday night, the Bisons and Mets combined for 15 runs on 25 hits in another game that lasted more than three hours. In Wednesday’s game, the teams also combined to use 13 total pitchers and strand 25 runners on base.
Syracuse is on the road all week at the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Buffalo Bisons. Game three of the six-game series is set for a 6:05 p.m. first pitch on Thursday. Right-hander Dylan Bundy is scheduled to start on the mound for the Mets.