Syracuse, NY (SYRACUSE METS) – The Syracuse Mets let an early lead slip away in a 9-6 loss to the Durham Bulls at NBT Bank Stadium on Tuesday night. Danny Espinosa homered for the Mets, but the Bulls scored nine of the final 11 runs of the game.
Durham (68-52) opened the game up in the top of the fifth inning. Trailing 5-4 entering the frame, Emilio Bonifacio and Kean Wong led off the inning with back-to-back singles for the Bulls. With runners on first and second, Nate Lowe doubled Bonifacio and Wong in to give Durham its first lead of the game at 6-5. A walk and fielder’s choice led to the first pitching change for Syracuse in the top of the fifth. Eric Hanhold came in for Syracuse. Hanhold hit the first batter he saw, Daniel Robertson, loading the bases with one out for Kevin Padlo. The Bulls third basemen knocked home Lowe and Dalton Kelly on a double to push the Durham lead to three, 8-5. Jason Coats followed with a single, scoring Robertson to make it 9-5. It would have been 10-5 if not for Syracuse left fielder Braxton Lee throwing out Padlo at the plate on the Coats hit for the second out of the inning.
Syracuse (59-61) cut into the deficit in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Danny Espinosa crushed a solo homer well over the right-field wall, making it 9-6 Durham. However, Syracuse couldn’t muster a run in the eighth or the ninth innings.
The Mets started the scoring in the first inning. Rajai Davis and Grégor Blanco led off with singles, putting runners on first and third base with no one out. Rubén Tejada plated Davis from third on a fielder’s choice, giving Syracuse a 1-0 lead. A bunt single from Espinosa and a strikeout set the stage for a Mets two-out rally. Dilson Herrera doubled to score Tejada and extend the Mets lead to 2-0, and Braxton Lee brought home Herrera and Espinosa on a two-out single, making it 4-0 Syracuse.
Durham countered with a big top of the second inning. Dalton Kelly and Daniel Robertson singled with one out before Padlo blasted a three-run homer to cut the Syracuse lead to 4-3. Padlo finished with five RBIs on the night for the Bulls.
In the bottom of the second inning, Davis reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs, Blanco singled, and Tejada doubled to bring home Davis from third, extending the Mets lead back to two at 5-3.
The Bulls negated that run in the top of the third. Lowe singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Perez scored Lowe on a single to right field, trimming the Syracuse lead to one, 5-4.
Syracuse hosts Durham again on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m.