(SYRACUSE METS 5/1/19) — There’s a new first-place team in the International League. The Syracuse Mets now own the league’s best record after beating the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 8-2, on Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Park. The win pushes Syracuse’s winning streak to four games, which is the third streak of at least four straight wins already this year. The Mets have now outscored the IronPigs, 33-11, in the series.
Syracuse (17-9) scored in the first inning for the seventh time in the last eight games. Rajai Davis reached on an error on Gift Ngoepe at third base to start the game. Danny Espinosa replaced Davis at first after a forceout at second. Adeiny Hechavarría then doubled to right field to put runners on second and third, and Luis Guillorme walked to load the bases. Carlos Gómez followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Espinosa for a 1-0 lead. Travis Taijeron then singled up the middle into center to score Hechavarría and push the lead to 2-0.
The Mets added another run in the top of the second. René Rivera singled and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Corey Oswalt. After Davis singled, Espinosa singled past third base to score Rivera for a 3-0 lead.
Lehigh Valley (16-9) scored in the bottom of the second. Andrew Romine singled to left field, and two batters later, Matt McBride doubled to the left-field corner to make the score 3-1.
In the fifth inning, Guillorme and Gómez each singled with one out, chasing IronPigs starter Tyler Viza from the game. After Austin Davis came into the game, catcher Rob Brantly tried to throw behind Guillorme at second, but the throw got away into right field for an error, allowing Guillorme to come around and score from second base for a 4-1 advantage.
The Mets walked their way to more runs in the sixth. Pinch hitter David Thompson and Rajai Davis each walked to start the inning. Austin Davis then tried to pick off Thompson at second base but threw the ball away, allowing the runners to move up on the error. Espinosa followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Thompson for a 5-1 edge.
The IronPigs got back within three in the bottom of the sixth. McBride doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch. Ali Castillo then grounded out to third, scoring McBride on the play to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Another strong Mets offensive day continued in the eighth. Hechavarría singled, Guillorme doubled, and Gomez walked to load the bases with nobody out. Mets relief pitcher Tim Peterson hit for himself and pushed a sacrifice fly to right field to score Hechavarría for a 6-2 advantage. Guillorme moved to third on the play. Grégor Blanco then bunted up the first-base line for a sacrifice bunt that brought home Guillorme from third to make it a 7-2 ballgame. The inning continued with Rivera working a walk, and then Thompson doubled to left field to score Gomez, for Thompson’s fifth RBI in the last two games, giving the Mets an 8-2 lead.
Syracuse and Lehigh Valley conclude their four-game series on Thursday morning. LHP Héctor Santiago will be on the mound for the Mets opposite LHP JoJo Romero for the IronPigs. First pitch is set for 10:35 a.m.