On a night that started with a first-pitch strike from Syracuse Orange head football coach Dino Babers, the Syracuse Mets scored three touchdowns without the extra points in a dominant 18-2 victory over the Rochester Red Wings on Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. It’s the most runs Syracuse has scored in a game this season as well as the largest margin of victory. Major league rehabber J.D. Davis led the way with a 4-for-6 performance that included a home run, two doubles, and three RBIs.
Syracuse (20-40) put together a monstrous bottom of the first inning. Cameron Maybin and Khalil Lee led off with singles, and Davis followed with a double to score Maybin and give Syracuse a 1-0 lead. Patrick Mazeika then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Lee and increase the lead to 2-0. Brandon Drury followed with an RBI single to score Davis and make it a 3-0 contest. After Albert Almora Jr. walked, Wilfredo Tovar connected on a single to load the bases. Then, Syracuse brought in another two runs when Drew Jackson came to the plate and hit a ball to shortstop that Rochester shortstop Luis García didn’t field cleanly that scored Drury and brought home Tovar to increase the lead to 5-0. That wasn’t all for the Mets in the first, however, as the pitcher Robert Stock provided an RBI on a fielder’s choice to score Tovar and cap off a six-run first inning, making it 6-0 Mets.
Rochester (25-34) got on the board in the top of the fourth. Daniel Palka hit a one-out double, and after Derek Diertrich struck out for the second out, Adrian Sanchez connected on an RBI double to make it 6-1 with the Mets still in front.
That was the only run allowed by Mets starting pitcher Robert Stock, who threw six innings, allowing only one run on six hits, walking one, and he tied a career high with eight strikeouts.
The Mets responded with a three-run bottom of the fourth. Maybin led off with a single, and after Lee struck out, Davis hit his second RBI double of the night to score Maybin and give the Mets back their six-run lead, 7-1. Mazeika followed Davis with a walk, and then Almora lined out to right field. Tovar delivered with a two-out, two-run double to increase the Syracuse lead to 9-1.
With Syracuse reliever A.J. Schugel on the mound, Rochester brought home their second run in the seventh after Rafael Bautista hit a two-out single and then came all the way home when a ball off the bat of Carlos Tocci was dropped in center field by Almora Jr. for an error as the Red Wings trimmed the deficit to seven, 9-2. The run was unearned as Schugel finished his night with two innings pitched, three hits, three strikeouts, and that unearned run allowed.
Syracuse just wouldn’t stop scoring, though, adding another run in the bottom of the seventh. Cheslor Cuthbert led off the inning being hit by a pitch, and then Maybin reached on a fielder’s choice. On the play, Cuthbert advanced to third on a throwing error by shortstop Humberto Arteaga. Lee and Davis followed with strikeouts before Mazeika delivered with a two-out RBI double to give the Mets their largest lead at the time, 10-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets put together their best inning of the season. Almora Jr. and Chance Sisco led off the inning with singles. Jackson then connected on his second RBI of the game with a one-run single to increase the lead to nine, 11-2. After Cuthbert and Maybin were retired, Lee blasted a two-out, three-run home run over the right-field wall to make it a 14-2 Mets advantage. Davis then made it back-to-back homers with a solo shot that gave Syracuse a 13-run lead, 15-2. It was the third home run of Davis’s rehab assignment. Mazeika and Calixte kept the inning rolling with two straight singles, and Almora Jr. followed with an RBI single to score Mazeika, making it 16-2. Sisco then got in on the fun with a one-run double to bring home Calixte to increase the lead to 15, 17-2. Jackson followed with an RBI double of his own to make it 18-2 Mets to cap off the ten-hit, eight-run inning – an individual-inning season-high for both runs and hits.
With the victory, Syracuse improves to 8-4 against Rochester this season, their best record against any opponent this year.
The Mets will look for yet another win against the Red Wings when the Thruway Cup rivals return to the field on Wednesday for a doubleheader. Game one begins at 5:05 p.m., where Jesús Reyes takes the ball for Syracuse against Rochester’s Sterling Sharp. Game two will begin approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, where Nick Tropeano gets the ball for the Mets.