NORFOLK, V.A. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets hit six home runs, six doubles, and racked up a season-high 18 hits en route to an 18-6 victory over the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday night at Harbor Park. The Mets scored runs in seven of the game’s nine innings, Daniel Palka had a career-high five hits, Mark Vientos had five RBIs and two home runs, and JT Riddle also had two homers in the win.
Syracuse (22-38) struck first three batters into the game. With one out, Dominic Smith doubled. Vientos followed with a two-run home run down the right-field line to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead.
The Mets continued their power hitting in the top of the second inning when Luke Ritter hit an opposite-field homer to right field to make it a 3-0 game. The hit marked Ritter’s first-career Triple-A home run.
Syracuse broke the game open in the third. Smith walked, Vientos was hit by a pitch, and Palka singled to load the bases. Nick Dini followed with a bases-clearing double to push the Syracuse edge to 6-0. Riddle walked to put runners at first and second base before Ritter doubled home Dini to give the Mets a 7-0 advantage. Three batters later, with two outs, Johneshwy Fargas brought home both Riddle and Ritter with a single, extending the Syracuse lead to 9-0, completing a six-run inning.
The Mets scored in the fourth thanks to one swing of the bat. With one out, Palka hit a solo home run to give Syracuse a double-digit advantage, 10-0. The homer was Palka’s team-leading 14th of the season. The 30-year-old has reached base in 15 consecutive games, including with hits in 14 of those 15 contests.
Syracuse utilized the long ball again, this time in the top of the fifth. Fargas and Smith both walked, putting runners at first and second for Vientos who launched a three-run, opposite-field home run to make it a 13-0 ballgame. This is the second time this season that Vientos has hit two home runs in a game. The 22-year-old now has ten homers this season, including nine long balls in 20 games played since May 8th. The frame continued with a Palka double. Then, two batters later, Riddle pummeled a two-run homer over the right-field wall for a 15-0 Syracuse lead.
Norfolk (30-31) finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and runners at first and second, Dylan Harris hit a two-run double. Terrin Vavra followed with an RBI single to trim the deficit to 15-3.
Those were the only runs allowed by Syracuse starting pitcher Thomas Szapucki. The left-hander struck out eight batters in five innings with just one walk.
Syracuse responded in the sixth. Smith singled, Vientos walked, and Palka brought home both Smith and Vientos with an opposite-field double to left-center field to push the lead back to 14, 17-3.
The Mets were finally held off the board in the seventh but added a final run in the top of the eighth with a Riddle homer, his second of the game, pushing Syracuse up 18-3. This was Riddle’s second two-home run game of his career.
The Tides brought across three runs in the bottom of the eighth when Rylan Bannon hit a two-out, three-run home run to make it 18-6, but that’s as close as Norfolk would get.
Palka finished the game 5-for-6 with three RBIs, a home run, two doubles, and a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Ritter also came a triple short of hitting for the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, single, walk, and a hit by pitch. Syracuse’s six home runs, six doubles, 18 hits, and 18 runs were all season highs.
The Mets continue their six-game series against the Tides on Wednesday night with the second game of the series. Left-hander Mike Montgomery is slated to start for Syracuse opposite Norfolk right-hander Denyi Reyes. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.