Syracuse, NY (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Salt Potatoes picked up their ninth straight victory with a 5-1 win over the Rochester Red Wings on Friday night in front of an electric crowd of 8,316 fans at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse starting pitcher Harol Gonzalez tossed seven innings of one-run baseball, and catcher Ali Sanchez went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two RBIs, and he threw out two Rochester runners trying to steal in the game.
Syracuse (68-61) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Sanchez led off with a single and traded places with Brandon Nimmo after a fielder’s choice. Nimmo moved over to second on an Arismendy Alcantara groundout. Dilson Herrera then picked up a two-out single to score Nimmo from second and give Syracuse a 1-0 lead.
Rochester (65-65) responded in the next half inning. Ramón Flores led off the fourth with a home run to right field, tying the ballgame, 1-1.
The Salt Potatoes answered in the bottom of the fourth inning. Grégor Blanco led off with a single, Sam Haggerty advanced Blanco over to second on a sacrifice bunt, and one out later, Sanchez doubled to score Blanco, putting Syracuse back in front, 2-1.
The Red Wings threatened in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and third base and one out, Gonzalez induced a timely double play to get the Salt Potatoes out of the inning with the 2-1 advantage.
Gonzalez allowed just four hits and one earned run in seven innings pitched while striking out three batters. With the win, the 24-year-old now has a 4-0 pitching record this season with Syracuse.
Salt Potatoes reliever Stephen Nogosek pitched a scoreless top of the eighth inning. Nogosek has now gone 28 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run at the Triple-A level.
Syracuse put the game out of reach in the eighth. Espinosa and Jason Krizan both walked to lead off. One out later, Espinosa was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice hit by Haggerty, who advanced to second during the play because of a rundown. That brought up Travis Taijeron with runners on second and third and two outs. Taijeron delivered with a double off the left-field wall, scoring Krizan and Haggerty to put Syracuse up by three, 4-1. Sanchez kept things going with a double of his own, scoring Taijeron to add another Salt Potatoes insurance run and make it a 5-1 ballgame.
Salt Potatoes reliever Tim Peterson polished off the win with a scoreless ninth inning. The Salt Potatoes are now 26-14 since the All-Star Break, which is the best record in the International League during that time.
Syracuse goes for its tenth straight win on Saturday night when it hosts Rochester in the second game of their three-game series. First pitch from NBT Bank Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m.