SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE METS) –
The Syracuse Mets received a brilliant start from Thomas Szapucki on Tuesday night, but the Syracuse offense struggled as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp shut out the Mets, 4-0, at NBT Bank Stadium on Tuesday night.
Szapucki tossed one of his best starts of the season for Syracuse on Tuesday night, working the first five innings of the game in scoreless fashion. The left-hander fanned five batters in the game’s first five frames as well, all swinging. Jacksonville had just four baserunners in the first five innings.
Szapucki worked into the sixth inning for the first time this season on Tuesday night, and the Jumbo Shrimp finally got to him in the process. Willians Astudillo led off the inning with a double and later scored on an RBI double from Jerar Encarnacion to give Jacksonville (46-39) a 1-0 lead.
Szapucki got out of the sixth after that without further damage, finishing his outing with eight strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball with just one walk. The 26-year-old scattered five hits across his six brilliant innings. Szapucki’s ERA shrank from 3.86 to 3.60 as a result of his outstanding start.
Early on in the game, the Mets offense had its chances to get on the scoreboard. The best chance came in the second inning when Mark Vientos and Travis Blankenhorn both singled leading off the frame followed by Khalil Lee reaching on an error to load up the bases with nobody out. However, the potential big inning fizzled out from there. Gosuke Katoh popped out, Deven Marrero struck out, and Terrance Gore grounded out to leave the bases loaded for the Mets.
In the fourth, it looked like Syracuse may score again when Vientos doubled to lead off the inning and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt from Blankenhorn. However, Vientos was picked off third base and Lee struck out to once again nullify a potential big inning for the home team.
From there, the Mets offense was rendered mute by brilliant pitching from the Jacksonville pitching staff. Syracuse had just two baserunners in the final five innings, as the Jumbo Shrimp relievers befuddled the Mets hitters down the stretch. By the end of the night, five pitchers (Cody Poteet, Jake Fishman, Jeff Brigham, Huascar Brazoban, and Robert Garcia) had combined to shut out Syracuse on just three hits, recording 12 strikeouts in the process.
In the top of the eighth, Jacksonville received the insurance it would need to cruise to an eventual victory. First, Astudillo lined a solo home run over the left-field fence to make it 2-0 while leading off the inning. Then, Lewin Diaz doubled, advanced to third on a balk, and scored when J.J. Bleday hit a majestic home run over right-center field fence to make it 4-0 and complete the evening’s scoring. Bleday, considered one of the top prospects in the Marlins’ minor league system, now has 18 home runs in 79 games this season.
Syracuse continues its series against the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, on Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Tim Adleman is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by left-hander Matthew Kent for the Jumbo Shrimp.