The Syracuse Mets could not hold on to an early lead on Thursday night, dropping the game, 12-7, to the Buffalo Bisons on a chilly evening at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets have now lost the first three games in the six-game series against the Bisons.

Syracuse (56-82) had consistent offensive firepower early in the ballgame, scoring in each of the game’s first four innings. In the first, the Mets scored twice when Dominic Smith lined a double into the gap in right-center field that plated Travis Jankowski and Jake Mangum for a 2-0 lead. Jankowski singled starting the inning, increasing his on-base streak to 22 games. Mangum also singled earlier in the inning, making it ten hits in his last 11 games.

In the second, JT Riddle extended the lead with a solo blast over the right-field fence to make it a 3-0 ballgame. In the third, Smith led off the inning with another double, moved to third on a balk and scored on an RBI groundout from Daniel Palka for a 4-0 edge.

Buffalo (72-64) got a run back in the top of the fourth when John Aiello singled home Davis Schneider, but that’s all they’d get off Jose Butto. The 24-year-old right-handed starter had another excellent outing, allowing just one run on three hits in five innings with three strikeouts for Syracuse. Butto was also outstanding last Thursday night, when he tossed seven scoreless innings against Rochester.

The Mets responded in the bottom of the fourth, Michael Perez singled leading off the frame, moved to second when Jankowski walked, advanced to third on a Smith groundout and came home on a Palka single for a 5-1 lead. The Mets scored their five runs in the first four innings on a combined eight hits. However, they also left six total runners on base during that time frame.

From there, the game got away from the Mets. The Bisons took the lead with a big sixth inning, scoring five runs on three hits plus three walks while sending nine men to the plate on their way to a 6-5 lead. LJ Talley, Rafael Lantigua, and Yoshi Tsutsugo each drove in runs via RBI singles in the frame.

The Mets, however, bounced right back to tie the game at six with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Jankowski walked yet again leading off the inning, got to second on a fielding error, and scored on a Yolmer Sánchez RBI single. Sánchez now has hits in eight consecutive games.

Each team traded another pair of runs in the seventh inning. Buffalo scored on a solo home run from Nathan Lukes leading off the inning, while Riddle smacked his second homer of the night in the bottom half of the seventh to knot it right back up at seven.

In the eighth, Buffalo put it away with five fateful runs, all of which came with two outs. Aiello and Trevor Schwecke were on first and second base respectively with two outs, bringing Otto Lopez to the plate. He promptly smacked a single into center field that plated Aiello, giving the Bisons an 8-7 lead that they would never relinquish. Consecutive walks by Lukes and Schneider plated another run and loaded the bases, followed by a three-run double from Talley that cleared those bases, made it a 12-7 game, and effectively ended the contest. Talley finished the night 2-for-5 with four runs driven in. So far in the series, the former Georgia Bulldog has gone a combined 6-for-12 with ten runs driven in.

Syracuse plays its final six-game home series of the series against the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A affiliate, Toronto Blue Jays) all week long at NBT Bank Stadium. The fourth game in the series is set for a 6:35 first pitch on Friday evening. Joey Lucchesi is slated to make a rehab start for Syracuse.