Rochester, NY – The Syracuse Mets came up close but fell just short once again on Friday night. The Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A Washington Nationals) plated three runs in the bottom of the 12th inning to walk off winners by a 6-4 final on a warm early June night at
Rochester, NY – The Syracuse Mets came up close but fell just short once again on Friday night. The Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A Washington Nationals) plated three runs in the bottom of the 12th inning to walk off winners by a 6-4 final on a warm early June night at Innovative Field. The Red Wings also won on a walk-off hit on Monday night. The Mets have now lost nine out of their last ten games. Six of those nine losses have come by two runs or less. Remarkably, Syracuse has also lost seven times on walk-off hits this season.
Rochester (26-27) put the pressure on the Mets early, scoring one run in the first and another run in the second to take a quick 2-0 lead. In the first, Nomar Mazara pounded a 95 mile-per-hour fastball over the right-center field fence, a two-out solo shot that powered the Red Wings to a 1-0 lead.
The Red Wings added to the lead in the bottom of the second. Matt Adams and Luis Torrens each singled to start the frame, followed by a Travis Blankenhorn walk to load the bases. The next batter, Erick Mejia, lofted a fly ball deep enough into left field for a sacrifice fly out to score Adams and make it a 2-0 game.
The Mets got a run back in the top of the third on back-to-back hits. After Jonathan Araúz lined out sharply to start the inning, Lorenzo Cedrola doubled down the left-field line to give Syracuse (20-35) its first hit of the night. The next batter, Nick Meyer, promptly smacked a single into center field to score Cedrola and make it a 2-1 game. Meyer also had an RBI single in Wednesday afternoon’s game.
Rochester added another run in the bottom of the fourth to regain a two-run advantage at 3-1. Adams and Torrens each singled once again to start the inning, putting two runners on base with nobody out. Blankenhorn then chopped a grounder to first base that produced a force out of Torrens at second but put Blankenhorn on first and Adams on third with one out. The next batter, Mejia, singled into right field to plate Adams and make it a 3-1 game.
The Red Wings wouldn’t score again off the Mets starter, José Butto, who battled through some adversity of his outing. Despite not having his sharpest stuff, the right-hander worked five and two-thirds total innings while allowing just the three earned runs on seven total hits. Butto racked up six strikeouts in his outing while surrendering just three walks. Friday night’s start was a welcome sight for Butto, who had struggled in his prior two outings. The 25-year-old had allowed 12 combined earned runs in his prior two Triple-A starts.
It remained a 3-1 game into the top of the seventh, when Syracuse’s offense finally got to Wily Peralta. Rochester’s starter had allowed just one runs and four hits in the first six innings of the ballgame, and after Luis Guillorme struck out to start the seventh, the Mets finally figured out Peralta. First, Jaylin Davis singled into center field to put a runner on base with one out. Then, Jonathan Araúz ripped a line drive down the right-field line, with the ball rolling all the way into the outfield corner. That allowed Davis to score, Araúz to sprint into third with a triple and make it a 3-2 game. As Cedrola then strode to the plate, the Red Wings elected to bring the infield in to try and stop the game-tying run from scoring. The decision backfired as Cedrola looped a shallow bloop that just eluded the shortstop’s glove, falling harmlessly in left field and allowing Araúz to score and tie the game up, 3-3.
The game was still tied, 3-3, into extra innings, where the plot just continued to thicken. Syracuse did not score in the top of the tenth and 11th innings, and Rochester looked primed to win the game in the bottom of the 11th. Travis Blankenhorn strode to the plate with a ton of confidence having driven in five runs already this week. He promptly laced a line drive that looked destined to land in right field and end the game, but Ronny Mauricio had other ideas. Mauricio speared at the ball and caught it in the air at second base, quickly wheeling around and throwing to second base to double off the placed runner at second base for a spectacular double play. From there, Erick Mejia would strike out to ensure the game would advance into the 12th inning, making it the longest game of the season for Syracuse.
In the 12th, the Mets plated a run to take their first lead of the night at 4-3. Guillorme began the inning as the free runner at second base, advancing to third when Jaylin Davis reached on an error to put runners on first and third base with nobody out. The next batter was Araúz, and he hit a sac fly to right field to plate Guillorme and make it a 4-3 game. However, the Mets would not score again in the 12th and that would prove to be their eventual downfall.
Rochester, amazingly, entered the bottom of the 12th inning without a hit since the bottom of the fourth inning. That changed very quickly. Richie Martin started the inning with a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the free runner to third base with one out in a one-run game. The next two batters then ended the game. Derek Hill laced a double to deep left field to tie the game, 4-4, and then Carter Kieboom hit a walk-off, two-run home run over the left-field wall to give Rochester a 6-4 win and their second triumph in extra innings this week.
Syracuse and Rochester play the penultimate game of their six-game series on Saturday evening at 6:45 p.m. Right-hander Alex Valverde is scheduled to start for the Mets, opposed by right-hander Paolo Espino for the Red Wings.