The Syracuse Mets used a go-ahead eighth inning home run from Brandon Drury to help end their 15-game losing streak and beat the Buffalo Bisons, 9-8, on Friday night in front of a lively crowd of 4,275 at NBT Bank Stadium. Drury finished the night with three hits and three RBIs.
Syracuse (12-33) entered the bottom of the eighth inning trailing, 8-7, but the Mets produced some late-inning magic. After Cameron Maybin struck out to start the inning, Khalil Lee drew a walk. Buffalo reliever Hobie Harris then came out of the bullpen to face Drury, and the Syracuse first baseman rocketed a go-ahead, two-run home run over the center-field wall to give Syracuse a 9-8 lead.
Mets reliever Nick Tropeano had already pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Syracuse and had the ball in in his hand for the ninth. With one out, Richard Ureña singled and Dilson Herrera walked to put runners on first and second base, but Juan Graterol flied out to left field for the second out of the inning. Tropeano then struck out Nash Knight to end the game and preserve the Mets’ lead, ending Syracuse’s 15-game losing streak as the Mets won, 9-8.
The game’s scoring started with Syracuse striking first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and nobody on base, Khalil Lee got aboard with a single. Next, Drury lined a double off the wall in left-center field to score Lee and give Syracuse a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, MLB rehabber Brandon Nimmo hit a leadoff double to center field. Cameron Maybin followed and ripped a double into the right-field corner, scoring Nimmo and making it 2-0 Mets. After Lee struck out and Drury lined out to center field, Orlando Calixte connected on an RBI single extending the lead to 3-0.
Buffalo (25-19) finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. Christian Colón hit a leadoff double and later advanced to third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Richard Ureña. Next, Dilson Herrera walked, and then Juan Graterol connected on an RBI groundout to score Colón and make it 3-1 with the Mets still in front. Knight followed with a run-producing double to bring home Herrera and cut the deficit to one, 3-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, Syracuse responded with a Martin Cervenka solo home run to increase the lead back to two, 4-2.
The Bisons added a run in the sixth when Herrera hit a solo home run to make it a one-run game yet again, 4-3. That was the last batter that Syracuse Jesús Reyes faced. The right-handed pitcher finished with five and two-thirds innings pitched, allowing three runs on seven hits, and struck out a season-high eight batters.
In the bottom of the sixth, Calixte led off with a ground-rule double to center field. After Wilfredo Tovar struck out, Cervenka drew a one-out walk. Next, César Puello singled to score Calixte and give Syracuse a two-run lead again, 5-3. Drew Jackson then walked to load the bases. After Nimmo grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in a force out at home, Maybin drew a bases-loaded walk to score Puello and make it 6-3 Mets.
In the top of the seventh, the Bisons exploded for five runs. Mets reliever Dellin Betances started his second MLB rehab appearance by hitting Jonathan Davis and then walking Breyvic Valera. After striking out Kevin Smith, Betances issued another walk to Rowdy Tellez. Stephen Tarpley replaced Betances, and the first batter he faced, Colón, ripped a bases-clearing double into the left-field corner to tie the game, 6-6. Colón then stole second base to get into scoring position for Ureña, who connected on an RBI single to give Buffalo their first lead, 7-6. Later in the frame, Graterol singled to score Ureña and make it 8-6 Buffalo to cap off the five-run inning.
Syracuse responded in the bottom of the seventh. With nobody on base and two outs, Tovar drew a walk. Then, Cervenka picked up his second hit of the night with a single to left field, putting runners on first and second base. Next, Puello delivered yet again with his second RBI single of the night to score Tovar and pull the Mets within one as the Bisons still led, 8-7, setting up Syracuse’s comeback in the eighth.
The Mets will now look to begin a win streak. Syracuse returns to NBT Bank Stadium on Friday to face Buffalo in game five of the six-game series. Right-hander Robert Stock is scheduled to start for the Mets opposite right-hander Connor Overton for the Bisons. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.