Syracuse, NY (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets took both games of a doubleheader over the Norfolk Tides on Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium to move just two games back of first place in the International League North Division standings. Syracuse won the first game, 7-1, and took a 4-2 victory in the second game. The Mets have now won four straight games and are two games above .500 for the first time since June 3rd.
In game one, Syracuse (63-61) got off to a hot start with the bats. Rajai Davis led off the bottom of the first inning with a double down the right-field line. Arismendy Alcantara moved Davis over to third on a groundout to second base before Dilson Herrera drove Davis home on a double, giving Syracuse the 1-0 lead.
Norfolk (51-72) countered in the next half inning. With one out, Austin Hays drilled a home run over the center-field wall, tying the game, 1-1 in the top of the second inning.
In the bottom of the third, Davis led off with a single, Alcantara walked, and they both moved up on a double steal, putting runners on second and third base with one out for René Rivera. The Syracuse catcher doubled down the left-field line, scoring both Davis and Alcantara to put the Mets back in front, 3-1. Danny Espinosa followed with a single to move Rivera over to third and Grégor Blanco brought him in on a sacrifice fly to center field, extending the Syracuse lead to three, 4-1.
The Mets kept the bats going in the fifth inning. Alcantara and Herrera both hit infield singles to start the frame and advanced to second and third on a passed ball. One out later, Espinosa rocketed a single to left field to score both Alcantara and Herrera and make it 6-1 Syracuse. Espinosa also advanced to third on the hit after a throwing error, allowing the next batter, Blanco, to plate him on a sacrifice fly to deep center field, extending the Syracuse lead to six, 7-1.
Harol Gonzalez tossed a gem in game one. The Syracuse starter allowed just three hits and one earned run over six innings of work. Mets reliever Eric Hanhold closed the door in the seventh with the final three outs, securing the 7-1 victory in the first game.
In game two, the Mets picked up where they left off. Blanco led off with a single, and Alcantara drove him in on a double, putting Syracuse up 1-0. Two outs later, Espinosa drove in Alcantara from second with a double and then Krizan traded places with Espinosa with a double of his own, giving Syracuse a 3-0 advantage. The double parade continued in the bottom of the first. Travis Taijeron became the third straight Mets batter to double, bringing in Krizan from second to put the Mets up, 4-0.
The Tides picked up a run in the fourth. Ryan Mountcastle led off with a walk. Two outs later, José Rondón kept things going with a single and Zach Vincej drove in Mountcastle with a single, making it 4-1 in the top of the fourth.
In the top of the sixth, Hays singled with one out for Norfolk. One out later, Vincej cracked another RBI single, making it 4-2 Syracuse. The Tides left the tying run stranded on first after a strikeout from Mets reliever Daniel Zamora.
The Mets then turned to Stephen Nogosek for the three-out save to finish off a 4-2 victory in game two of the doubleheader.
Syracuse and Norfolk finish their series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.