The Syracuse Mets and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders split a Saturday night doubleheader with the Mets overcoming a late deficit to win game one, 6-5, in eight innings. In game two, a pitcher’s duel ended with a 1-0 RailRiders win, handing the Mets their first shutout of the season.
In game one, Syracuse (18-40) scored first with a run in the top of the first inning. With two outs, J.D. Davis hit an opposite-field home run, the second homer of his MLB rehab assignment, to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (37-19) struck back with a big bottom of the second inning. Greg Allen and Armando Alvarez hit back-to-back one-out singles. Rob Brantly then drew a walk to load the bases. Kyle Holder followed with a bases-loaded walk to bring home the RailRiders’ first run to make it 1-1. Andrew Velazquez then came to the plate and delivered with a two-run double to increase the lead to 3-1. After Hoy Park walked, Estevan Florial hit a sacrifice fly to score Holder and cap off a four-run inning for the RailRiders as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took a 4-1 lead.
The Mets came back in the fourth. Davis drew a leadoff walk, and Patrick Mazeika followed with a single. Next, Brandon Drury ripped a single to left field to score Davis and cut the Syracuse deficit to two, 4-2. After Chance Sisco walked, Wilfredo Tovar lined a single to left field to score Mazeika, and left-fielder Ryan LaMarre bobbled the ball, allowing Drury to also score as Syracuse tied the game, 4-4.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre regained the lead in the fifth when Estevan Florial hit a solo home run to make it 5-4 RailRiders.
That was the last run that Syracuse starter Vance Worley would allow in what was a gritty performance after a rough third inning. The 33-year-old ended up going five and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, while walking four and striking out two. Worley threw 101 pitches.
The Mets responded in the top of the sixth, starting with a Sisco leadoff single. While Tovar was at the plate, a throw over to first tipped off first baseman Armando Alvarez’s glove and allowed Sisco to advance to second base. Sisco was pinch run for by César Puello. Tovar grounded out to second as Puello advanced to third. After Orlando Calixte walked, Drew Jackson hit an RBI groundout to score Puello and tie the game up again, 5-5.
The seven-inning game would go to extra innings, where Khalil Lee started as the runner at second base for Syracuse in the top of the eighth. Drury hit a leadoff single, and Lee advanced to third. Martin Cervenka followed, grounding into a double play, but Lee came home to score and give Syracuse a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Trey Cobb came out for another inning of relief work after recording one out in the sixth and pitching a scoreless seventh. The right-hander struck out Holder and retired Velazquez via a pop out. Tom Windle then came out of the bullpen for Syracuse to face Park. Socrates Brito, the free runner at second, stole third. and to put the tying run at third, but Tom Windle struck out Park for the game’s final out as the Mets took game one of the doubleheader, 6-5. It was the second straight game that featured Syracuse winning in extra innings.
Game two saw a pitching duel between Syracuse’s Akeem Bostick and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Matt Krook. Bostick pitched five innings of one-run baseball, striking out four while Krook pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit striking out one batter.
After Bostick put up four straight zeros to start the night, the RailRiders finally brought a run across in the bottom of the fifth. Max McDowell led off with a double, and Brandon Wagner brought McDowell home with a single to left field to make it 1-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Syracuse showed signs of life in the top sixth after a Jackson leadoff single. However, Cameron Maybin later grounded into an inning-ending double play.
In the top of the seventh with the score still 1-0 in favor of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, RailRiders reliever Trevor Lane returned for his second inning of relief work. After a two quick outs, Puello hit a double to left field to keep Syracuse alive. However, Cervenka struck out swinging to end the game.
The Mets and RailRiders return to PNC Field Sunday for the series finale. Left-handed pitcher Thomas Szapucki will be on the mound for the Syracuse. First pitch from Moosic, PA is set for 1:05 p.m.