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Syracuse Mets blow ninth-inning lead in loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

In just his second Triple-A start, Syracuse Mets starting pitcher Josh Walker took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning. After allowing a single with one-out in the frame to Armando Alvarez to break up the no-hitter, Walker forced a double play ball and finished his day with eight scoreless innings, no runs, one hit, two walks, and six strikeouts. Walker remarkably faced the minimum thanks to three double plays. However, it wasn’t enough, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored three runs in the top of the ninth to come out on top, 3-1.

In the top of the first inning, Walker issued a one-out walk to Andrew Velazquez but forced a double play ball off the bat off Socrates Brito to end the inning.

Walker’s next base runner allowed didn’t come until the fourth, where he walked Velazquez again, but Brito followed by hitting into another double play to end the frame.

In the top of the eighth, after losing the no-hit bid thanks to Alvarez’s single, Walker forced another double play ball to end his evening having faced the minimum through eight innings,

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (47-24) starting pitcher Brody Kroener also had a great outing, throwing six and a third scoreless innings, allowing eight hits, no walks, and striking out five.

Syracuse (24-50), after leaving 17 runners in scoring position, finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Drew Jackson led off with a single and then stole second base with Tovar at the plate. After Tovar grounded out, Travis Blankenhorn struck out. With two outs and Jackson in scoring position at second base, Albert Almora Jr. delivered with a go-ahead RBI single to put the Mets in front, 1-0.

However, the lead quickly evaporated. Syracuse reliever Geoff Hartlieb came out of the bullpen to pitch the top of the ninth and gave up a leadoff home run to Matt Pita, tying the game, 1-1. After Frederick Cuevas grounded out, Cristian Perez walked. Thomas Milone followed with a go-ahead, two-run home run to make it 3-1 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Mets and RailRiders return to NBT Bank Stadium for game four of the series on Friday night. Right-hander Nick Tropeano will make the start for Syracuse. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and gates open at 5:30.

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