Worcester, MA (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets ended their season-opening series in Worcester in frustrating fashion, falling to the Red Sox, 8-1, on a chilly but sunny Sunday afternoon. The Mets made three fateful errors and issued nine walks as a pitching staff in the midst of the loss.
Worcester (2-1) began their strong Sunday afternoon right away, scoring a run in the bottom of the first. David Hamilton reached base via a one-out single, promptly swiping second, and stealing his way into scoring position. After a wild pitch moved Hamilton to third, Daniel Palka brought Hamilton home on an RBI groundout to put the home team in front, 1-0.
The WooSox tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth when Ryan Fitzgerald and Ronaldo Hernandez smacked consecutive one-out doubles to plate another tally for the Red Sox for a 2-0 advantage. Hernandez is a returner to the Worcester lineup, and he was a nuisance against the Mets last season, driving in 13 total runs against the Mets last season with five doubles.
In the sixth, Syracuse (1-2) manufactured a run to make it a 2-1 game. Mark Vientos singled leading off the frame but was cut down at second on a fielder’s choice groundout from Khalil Lee. Jonathan Araúz promptly came to the plate and looped a double into the left-field corner, advancing Lee to third and putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Ronny Mauricio came to the plate and got the job done, chopping a groundball to shortstop on a pulled-back infield, allowing Lee to score and slash the Worcester lead in half.
It remained a 2-1 game into the bottom of the seventh inning when a fateful frame doomed the Mets’ chances to win the ballgame. First, Josh Walker issued walks to Bobby Dalbec and Palka to start the frame. Then, Jorge Alfaro hit a groundball to third base that looked like a sure double-play ball. However, it wasn’t to be. Brett Baty threw poorly to second base, allowing Dalbec to score, Palka to take third, and Alfaro to occupy first as the ball skittered slowly into right field. Then, in the very next at-bat, a poor pickoff throw from Walker to first base sailed into right field, allowing Palka to dash home and make it a 4-1 game. Finally, later on in the inning with two runners on base and two outs, Greg Allen crushed a double off the top of the right-field wall, causing both runners to score and the WooSox to take a comfortable 6-1 cushion. Allen finished the game 2-for-4 in the plate – his double in the seventh was the only hit Worcester had in the four-run inning.
The WooSox tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning to put the game in the books. Palka had an RBI single to make it 7-1 and later scored in the eighth when Ryan Fitzgerald drove him home via an RBI groundout to make it an 8-1 ballgame. Palka, who played for Syracuse last season, finished the opening series of the season with a home run, three hits, three runs driven in, and five runs scored.
Syracuse comes home for the first time in the 2023 season starting on Tuesday afternoon against the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A Washington Nationals). Opening Day at NBT Bank Stadium is set for a 2:05 p.m. first pitch. The Mets and Red Wings will match wits in a six-game series from Tuesday through Sunday all next week.