Syracuse, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets kept the good vibes going on Saturday night, rallying back once again from an early deficit to nab a 5-4 win over the Rochester Red Wings on a warm September night at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets have now won three straight games after dropping the first two games in the six-game series.
After two scoreless innings to start the game, Rochester (58-76) lifted the scoring lid in the top of the third. The Red Wings did it via extra-base power. Jecksson Flores tripled to start the frame, followed by another triple from Andrew Stevenson that plated Flores for a 1-0 lead. Stevenson, a former LSU Tiger, finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate, his first multi-hit game of the series. Stevenson pranced home later in the inning when John Nogowski doubled him home and made it a 2-0 ballgame.
From there, it would prove to be Syracuse’s (56-78) night, as the Mets scored the game’s next five runs to put themselves in the driver’s seat for a win. The scoring onslaught started with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. The frame began with a gift – Dominic Smith hit a high popup into shallow right-center field that should have been an easy out, however, the two fielders on that side of the infield (Lucius Fox and Flores) both lost the ball in the lights. The ball landed in the outfield grass, allowing Smith to jog into second with a bloop double. The Mets took advantage from there. First, Daniel Palka ripped a double to the base of the center field wall, scoring Smith with ease to pull the Mets within one, 2-1. Then, after consecutive outs, Syracuse tied the game when Gosuke Katoh grounded a single into right field that plated Palka and tied the game, 2-2, after four innings of play.
In the fifth, the Mets took the lead for good with another pair of runs to make it a 4-2 game. The runs came on one pivotal blow. After a two-out walk to Travis Jankowski extended the inning, Smith brought Jankowski home by crushing a two-run home run over the left-field wall, an opposite-field shot that put Syracuse in front for good. Smith finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and two runs driven in.
The Mets capped off their Saturday night scoring on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh inning. On the 95th and final pitch of the night for Rochester starter Logan Verrett, a breaking ball hung that Nick Dini was happy to see. Syracuse’s catcher swung at the pitch and launched it over the left-field fence, a solo shot that made it a 5-2 game. It was the second homer of the week for Dini and his tenth of the season in Triple-A overall. Logan Verrett gave up all the runs on the evening for the Red Wings, surrendering six hits and five runs with two walks and two strikeouts.
Given some run support, the Syracuse Mets pitching staff soared in the game’s first eight innings. José Rodriguez, Jordan Yamamoto, Michel Otanez, and Sam Clay allowed just two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in those first eight innings of the contest. Rodriguez got the start and started the game well, allowing two runs on five hits in four innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
It remained a 5-2 contest until the top of the ninth inning when things got interesting. After Daniel Johnson lined out to start the inning, Taylor Gushue and Flores singled to put two runners on base and bring the potential tying run to the plate. Andrew Stevenson then grounded out, moving each runner up a base to third and second base respectively with two outs. Then, Fox lined a drive into shallow left field for a single, plating Gushue and Flores and making it a 5-4 game. Trey Cobb, to his credit, bounced right back to end the game and clinch the win right there. The next batter, John Nogowski, struck out on three pitches to hand Syracuse its third straight win.
Syracuse wraps up its six-game series against the Rochester Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Harol Gonzalez is scheduled to start for the Mets, opposed by left-hander Mackenzie Gore for the Red Wings. Gore is making an MLB rehab start for the Rochester Red Wings. The left-hander is a former top pitching prospect for the Padres, acquired by the Nationals as part of the Juan Soto trade earlier this summer.