Syracuse, NY (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets completed a two-game sweep of the Pawtucket Red Sox with a 4-2 victory on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium. The Mets’ bullpen shined with six innings of combined one-run baseball in the victory.
Pawtucket (48-61) scored first for the second day in a row, this time in the top of the first inning. Gorkys Hernandez and Marco Hernandez both singled to start the frame. After a force out at second base for the first out, Rusney Castillo hit a ball back to the pitcher, but Walker Lockett made an errant throw to second, allowing everybody to reach base safely, including Gorkys Hernandez to score from third, giving Pawtucket a 1-0 lead.
Syracuse (55-55) answered in the bottom of the third. Braxton Lee singled, and Rymer Liriano doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Danny Espinosa drove them both in on a single to center field, putting the Mets in front, 2-1. Lee and Liriano, the eighth and nine hitters for Syracuse on Thursday, both had two base hits in the win.
The Mets tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning. Réne Rivera reached on an error, Lee walked, and Liriano brought them both across on another double, extending the Syracuse lead to three, 4-1.
The sixth inning started with a Chris Owings walk for Pawtucket. He stole second base and moved over to third on a wild pitch. Owings was stranded there though after Tzu-Wei Lin grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
The Red Sox threatened again in the ninth. Trailing by three to start the frame, Chad De La Guerra led off for Pawtucket with the only home run of the ballgame, making it 4-2 Syracuse. Lin followed with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a Josh Ockimey walk put the tying runner on base with one out, Syracuse turned to Jacob Rhame out of the bullpen. Rhame got Juan Centeno to pop out to left field for the second out of the inning and got Gorkys Hernandez to ground out to third to end the ballgame with two runners stranded on base.
Syracuse’s strong bullpen performance started with Ryan O’Rourke. The 31-year-old retired six straight in the fourth and fifth innings before Matt Blackham pitched a scoreless inning and 1/3 without allowing a hit. After Blackham, left-hander Daniel Zamora got the final two outs of the seventh inning and the first out of the eighth while giving up just one hit.
Mets starter Walker Lockett gave up one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts in three innings of work.
Syracuse now starts a ten-day, nine-game road trip on Friday night at Buffalo. First pitch between the Bisons and the Mets is set for 7:05 p.m.