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Syracuse Mets lose late lead and fall to RailRiders, 10-7

The Syracuse Mets continued to be cursed in Moosic, PA as the Mets lost a late lead and fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 10-7, in ten innings on a walk-off three-run home run. Syracuse has now lost nine games in a row, including two straight games to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre despite holding leads of three runs or more in both games. All three Major League rehabbers with Syracuse had hits, with Michael Conforto going 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored, Albert Almora Jr. going 1-for-4 with a double, walk, and run scored, and Jeff McNeil going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI single, and a run scored.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (25-11) entered the bottom of the tenth inning with the game tied, 7-7. Estevan Florial began the frame at second base as part of the extra-innings rules that have a runner begin at second base in each half inning in extras. Trey Amburgey worked a walk to put runners at first and second base. Max McDowell then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up to second and third. Rob Brantly followed with a three-run home run over the right-field wall to give the RailRiders the 10-7 walk-off win.

Syracuse (11-27) struck first in the game in the top of the first inning. Michael Conforto led off with a single, and Albert Almora Jr. followed with a double to put runners at second and third base. Jeff McNeil then lined out to second base, but Travis Blankenhorn walked to load the bases. Two batters later, Orlando Calixte singled, scoring Conforto and Almora to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The RailRiders responded in the bottom of the first inning. With Estevan Florial at first base and Greg Allen at third, a wild pitch allowed Florial to move to second and Allen to score to cut the Syracuse edge to one, 2-1. Later in the inning, with two outs, Robinson Chirinos singled home Florial from second, tying the game, 2-2.

The Mets regained the lead in the top of the fifth. With one out, McNeil doubled. Blankenhorn followed with a two-run home run to right field to give Syracuse a 4-2 advantage. Two batters later, with two outs, Calixte homered over the wall in left-center field to make it a 5-2 ballgame.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre stormed back in the bottom of the fifth. Florial walked and Amburgey singled. After Chirinos struck out, Rob Brantly was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Armando Alvarez then swung at a pitch and his swing hit catcher Patrick Mazeika’s glove for catcher’s interference that put Alvarez on base and moved every runner up a base, scoring Florial to trim the Mets lead to two, 5-3. Thomas Milone followed with a single that scored Amburgey to make it a 5-4 game. Then, Andrew Velazquez grounded a ball down the first-base line that was misplayed by Syracuse first baseman Drew Jackson for an error that scored Brantly and Alvarez to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 6-5 lead.

Syracuse responded in the sixth though. With one out, Jackson worked a walk. With César Puello batting, a wild pitched allowed Jackson to move to second. Puello then singled to center field, scoring Jackson to tie the game up, 6-6. After Almora walked to put runners at first and second, McNeil singled to left-center field, bringing home Puello to give Syracuse the lead back, 7-6. Almora was thrown out at home on the play trying to score, and then Blankenhorn flied out to right field to end the half inning.

The Mets maintained their one-run lead thanks to three magnificent innings pitched by reliever Trey Cobb. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits and one walk while keeping Scranton/Wilkes-Barre off the board.

The RailRiders managed to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth off Syracuse reliever Yennsy Díaz. Derek Dietrich struck out to begin the frame. Milone followed with a bloop single into right field. Velazquez then walked to put runners at first and second. Hoy Park singled through the left side of the infield, bringing home Milone from second to tie the game, 7-7. Allen followed with a fly out, and Florial struck out to end the inning.

Syracuse failed to score in the top of the tenth. Martin Cervenka started the inning at second base. Cervenka moved to third base on a Calixte fly out to right field, but both Khalil Lee and Wilfredo Tovar struck out to end the half inning, setting up Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s walk-off win in the bottom of the tenth.

The Mets and RailRiders meet again on Thursday night at PNC Field in Moosic, PA for the third game of their six-game series. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.