SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
On Saturday night, the Syracuse Mets received one of their best pitching performances of the season. Denyi Reyes tossed seven brilliant innings of one-run ball, but it would be the Worcester Red Sox who ended up the winners on this sunny Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium. The WooSox scored five runs in the final two innings to rally back and beat the Mets by a 6-3 final in ten innings. The WooSox have now won four out of the first five games in the week-long, six-game series.
Reyes had to navigate a rocky first inning, as the WooSox flied out three separate times to the deepest parts of the outfield. From there, however, the Syracuse (43-62, 10-21) starting pitcher was on cruise control. Reyes took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, walking just two batters in five hitless innings to begin the game.
In the sixth, Worcester (19-12, 58-48) finally got to Reyes when Caleb Hamilton hit a solo home run for the Red Sox first run of the game. They wouldn’t score again off Reyes. Denyi stranded a runner on second base in the sixth and a runner on third in the seventh to ensure his outing would be seven innings of one-run baseball. The right-hander walked two, allowed three hits, and struck out five in his scintillating performance. Reyes also threw 100 total pitches in the outing.
The Mets scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead. First, Syracuse put two runners on base with nobody out via a Michael Perez walk and a Nick Meyer single. Then, Brandon McIlwain attempted to drop down a sacrifice bunt and ended up making it safely to first base anyway, loading up the bases with nobody out. The next batter, Wyatt Young, grounded into a fielder’s choice to score one run, and then Ronny Mauricio produced the second run with an RBI groundout of his own to make it 2-0. Before the Worcester home run in the sixth.
It would stay a 2-1 game until the top of the ninth, when an old foe haunted the Mets again and tied the game up. Leading off the top of the ninth, Ceddanne Rafaela launched a game-tying, solo blast over the right-field fence to knot the game up, 2-2. Rafaela has now homered in each of the first five games of the series. The über-talented 22-year-old prospect also has hit 11 home runs in 30 games in Triple-A this season. Eight of those 11 dingers have come against the Syracuse Mets.
The game remained tied at two into the top of the tenth, when the WooSox scored four runs and all but ensured they would once again beat the Mets. Narciso Crook started the inning as the free runner at second, and after a Nick Sogard strikeout followed by Bradley Zimmer being hit by a pitch, two runners were on base with one out. Then, a strange play allowed Worcester to score twice. Caleb Hamilton roped a sharp single to center field, and as McIlwain attempted to field the ball for Syracuse, he overran the baseball. That allowed Crook to score easily. However, the play wasn’t done. McIlwain promptly threw the ball poorly back into the infield, allowing Zimmer to score and Hamilton to sprint all the way to third on the play as Worcester took a 4-2 advantage. From there, the WooSox tacked on and made it a 6-2 game when David Hamilton launched a two-run homer well beyond the right-field fence. It was the second homer and third extra-base hit of the week for Hamilton, a player normally known for his blinding speed having stolen 41 bases this season for the WooSox.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Mets did get a run back when Luke Ritter doubled home Abraham Almonte to start the inning. However, the next three batters went down in order and ensured that Syracuse would lose this Saturday night contest, 6-3. An old problem once again reared its ugly head for the Mets on this night, as the home team left 11 runners on base. Eight of the 11 runners were left on base in scoring position. Syracuse has left 44 runners on base in the first five games of this week’s series.
Syracuse wraps up its six-game homestand against the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, the Worcester Red Sox, on Sunday afternoon. The sixth and final game of the series is slated for a 1:05 p.m. start time on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Justin Jarvis is scheduled to start and make his Mets organization debut against the rehabbing, left-handed Chris Sale for the WooSox.