Auburn native Tim Locastro returned to the diamond for the first time in eight months. Locastro suffered a torn ACL last July playing for the New York Yankees. Tim got the start in game one in right field, going 2-4 with a run scored.

The Syracuse Mets dropped both halves of a doubleheader against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium with the Triple-A Yankees winning game one, 7-6, in eight innings and game two, 10-1. The RailRiders have taken the first four games of the season-opening series.

In game one of the doubleheader, both teams jumped on the scoreboard early. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (4-0) grabbed an early 2-0 lead when Greg Bird pounded a two-run homer over the center-field fence in the top of the first. Bird is making his return to the Yankees organization this season – he played 186 games with the Bronx Bombers from the 2015 through 2019 seasons.

Syracuse (0-4) inched closer with a lone run in the bottom of the first. Carlos Cortes and Patrick Mazeika both singled to start the inning, with Cortes moving to third base on Mazeika’s base knock. Mark Vientos then grounded into a double play, but it did score Cortes in the process to slash the RailRiders’ lead in half, 2-1.

Sloppy defense by the Mets in the fourth allowed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to increase its lead. Two errors helped push home two more tallies for the RailRiders. The second error was the costly one. With runners on second and third with nobody out, Max McDowell tapped a slow roller back to the pitcher’s mound, prompting Phillip Evans to take off from third. Justin Dillon, Syracuse’s pitcher, then threw errantly to home plate, allowing Evans to score from third and Auburn, NY native Tim Locastro to score from second.

The score remained 4-1 until the bottom of the fifth when Daniel Palka quickly changed the story, swinging at a hanging breaking ball and pounding it over the wall in right-center field with two runners on base to knot the game up at four. Palka, who made his Syracuse debut on Friday night, flashed plenty of power with the Rochester Red Wings last season. The left-handed hitter had 19 doubles and 18 home runs during the 2021 season.

From there, the RailRiders went back in front, scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 6-4 lead. McDowell had an RBI single in the sixth, followed by an Evans sacrifice fly in the seventh that scored Miguel Andujar.

However, the Mets wouldn’t go away. With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh, Quinn Brodey launched a no-doubt home run to right field, scoring Carlos Rincon and tying the game back up at six. It was Brodey’s first hit of the young season.

In the eighth inning (and lone extra inning), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored the game’s final run to clinch the victory. With a runner at second to start the inning, José Peraza lined a single into center field, scoring Evan Alexander to make it 7-6.

Syracuse had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Johneshwy Fargas was caught stealing at third to end the game.

The second game of the doubleheader was all Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, who roared ahead with six runs in the top of the second and never looked back. By the end of the night, the RailRiders had scored 10 runs on 12 hits, including eight extra-base hits and four home runs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has smacked eight home runs in the first four games of the season.

Oswaldo Cabrera had a banner night in the second game of the doubleheader. The RailRiders’ starting shortstop reached base four times, including a three-run triple, two doubles, and two runs scored. Ender Inciarte also joined the fun, crushing two separate two-run home runs in the game.

Syracuse mustered just one run in the 10-1 defeat. Carlos Cortes had a double in the second and scored two batters later on a Matt Reynolds groundout for Syracuse’s lone run of the second game as the Mets finished the game with six hits.

The Mets and RailRiders continue their six-game series on Saturday night with game five of the series. Right-hander Conner Grey is scheduled to take the mound for Syracuse opposite Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right-hander Luis Gil. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.