he Syracuse Mets had another tough-luck loss at the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A Washington Nationals) on Thursday night, dropping a 4-3 decision at Innovative Field in downtown Rochester. The Mets have lost each of the first three games in the week-long, six-game series. Syracuse has also now lost eight of their last nine games. Five of those losses have come by two runs or less.

Early on, Syracuse (20-34) got off to a powerful start when Michael Perez hit a booming solo home run over the fence in right-center field in the top of the third inning. The 436-foot blast was Perez’s third at the Triple-A level this season. It was also the first home run of the week for the Mets at Innovative Field.

Rochester (25-27) proceeded to grab the lead right back, scoring a run in the fourth and another run in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead into the sixth. In the fourth, the Red Wings manufactured the game’s tying run. Nomar Mazara walked to start the inning, promptly moving up to second base on a one-out single from Luis Torrens. The next batter, Travis Blankenhorn, lofted a single into shallow center field that plated Mazara and knotted up the game at one.

The Red Wings wasted no time in the bottom of the fifth taking their first lead of the night. Richie Martin launched a solo shot over the left-field fence leading off the frame, propelling the home team to a 2-1 advantage. It was the first home run of the season for Martin.

Despite the pair of runs from the Rochester offense, it only dimmed what turned out to be a solid start for Denyi Reyes. Syracuse’s starter allowed just the two runs in five innings of work, surrendering four hits while striking out seven batters and walking four. Reyes was very impressive early on, striking out five batters combined in the first three innings of the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Syracuse tied it right back up when Luis Guillorme hit a solo shot over the left-field fence to make it a 2-2 game in a flash. However, from there, an old nightmare haunted the Mets. Syracuse put a slew of runners on base but barely brought any of them home. The Mets left at least one runner on base in each of the game’s final four innings, stranding a total of nine runners on base by game’s end. Syracuse has left 30 runners on base in the first three games of the series.

Rochester manufactured a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings for vital late-game insurance. In the seventh, Martin walked with one out and swiped his way to second base. Then, Martin moved to third on a soft single into left field by Derek Hill. The next batter, Jake Alu, chopped a grounder to first base that the Mets defense tried to turn a double play on. However, Alu legged out the fielder’s choice for an RBI and a 3-2 lead for the Red Wings.

In the eighth, Rochester scored again in what would prove to be the game’s winning run. After a pair of strikeouts to start the inning, the Red Wings began to mount their rally when Matt Adams drew a walk to extend the frame. He was lifted for a pinch-runner, Cody Wilson, who moved up 90 feet to second base on a curious circumstance. The Mets pitcher, T.J. McFarland, threw over to first base on a pickoff attempt and appeared to get Wilson before he slid safely back into the bag. However, a balk was called that allowed Wilson to advance to second base. Two batters later, Blankenhorn singled once again to drive in Wilson and make it a 4-2 game.

In the top of ninth, the Mets frustration reached its pinnacle on a steamy, mid-80s night in the Flower City. Down by two entering the inning, Syracuse looked primed for a dramatic, late-game rally when Lorenzo Cedrola walked, and Michael Perez singled to put runners on first and third with nobody out. Danny Mendick, a Rochester native, came to the plate with the chance to make a little magic. However, he grounded into a double play that cleared the bases and produced two outs in the inning. Cedrola did score to make it 4-3 on the play, and the Guillorme drew yet another walk to extend the game by one more batter. However, Ronny Mauricio flied out to end the game and give Rochester a 4-3 win. Adding insult to injury, Mauricio’s 20-game streak of reaching base at least once ended in the process. The 22-year-old finished Thursday’s game 0-for-5 at the plate with three strikeouts.

Syracuse continues its week-long, six-game series at the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, the Rochester Red Wings. Game four of the series will be played on Friday evening, a 6:45 p.m. start time from Rochester. David Peterson is scheduled to start for the Mets, opposed by Wily Peralta for the Red Wings.