Travis Blankenhorn’s grand slam and Jeff McNeil’s solo homer weren’t enough to end Syracuse’s losing streak, as the Mets dropped their 11th straight game with a 7-5 defeat to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Friday night.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (27-11) got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Derek Dietrich launched an opposite-field solo homer off Syracuse starter Tylor Megill to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, the RailRiders added to their total. With one out, Socrates Brito and Trey Amburgey connected on back-to-back singles. Then, Dietrich was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rob Brantly followed with a two-run single that scored Brito and Amburgey to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 3-0 lead.
Syracuse (11-29) didn’t let a rain delay get in the way of a huge fifth inning. With two outs and Orlando Calixte at second base, Jeff McNeil drew a walk. Ball four was a wild pitch that allowed Calixte to move to third base. Wilfredo Tovar then drew a walk to load the bases. With the rain coming down at PNC Park, home plate umpire John Bacon called for the tarp to be put on the field. After a 22-minute delay, the teams returned to the field. In the first pitch after the delay, Travis Blankenhorn crushed a go-ahead grand slam to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Syracuse starter Tylor Megill’s night ended after five innings pitched. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on five hits, walking only one batter and striking out six.
In the sixth, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tied the game back up with a Brantly solo homer to make it 4-4.
The Mets responded in the top of the seventh with Jeff McNeil launching a solo home run of his own to give Syracuse the lead right back, 5-4. Four games into his MLB rehab assignment with Syracuse, McNeil is 6-for-15 with two RBIs, two doubles, and a home run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the lead with a two-out rally. No one was on base when Hoy Park drew a walk. Greg Allen followed and hit a go-ahead two-run homer to right field to make it 6-5 in favor of the RailRiders. Next, Brito drew a walk, and then Amburgey delivered with an RBI double to score Brito and increase the RailRiders lead to two, 7-5.
The Mets and RailRiders return to PNC Field on Saturday evening for the fifth game of the six-game series. First pitch from Moosic, PA is at 6:05 p.m.