Norfolk, VA (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets are now tied for second place in the International League North Division standings after a 4-2 victory over the Norfolk Tides on Friday night at Harbor Park. René Rivera had another big night for Syracuse with two RBIs and two hits, including a home run. The Mets are now within five games of first place in the division for the first time since June 8th.
Syracuse (59-58) posted an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Arismendy Alcantara led off and reached on an error by Norfolk third baseman José Rondón. Alcantara eventually stole second base and moved to third on an error on the throw to second by Tides catcher Austin Wynns. Dilson Herrera then doubled with two outs, scoring Alcantara for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
In the second, Travis Taijeron walked, and Grégor Blanco singled to put runners on the corners. Rymer Liriano then grounded into a double play, but Taijeron scored from third on the play to push the advantage to 2-0.
Following up a three-home run and career-high five RBI game in Durham on Thursday night, Rivera continued his stellar performance at the plate in the third. With Rubén Tejada on first, Rivera doubled to center field to score Tejada and extend the lead to 3-0.
Norfolk (46-70) started to chip away at the lead in the fourth. Austin Wynns singled with two outs, and Rondón followed with a double to center field to make the score 3-1.
Rivera wasn’t done with another big night for Syracuse though. With two outs in the fifth, Rivera launched his 23rd home run of the season, going the opposite way to right field for a 4-1 Mets edge.
The Tides got a run closer in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out home run by Austin Hays, trimming the Syracuse edge to two, 4-2, but that’s as close as Norfolk got.
Syracuse’s bullpen had another great night. Eric Hanhold pitched two scoreless frames with one strikeout, Stephen Nogosek threw one and 1/3 scoreless innings, and Daniel Zamora struck out the only two batters he faced to secure the victory for Syracuse. Mets starter Harol Gonzalez allowed just four hits and two runs in five innings pitched.
The Mets and Tides continue their three-game series on Saturday night with the second game of the series. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.