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Syracuse Mets complete doubleheader sweep of Lehigh Valley

The Syracuse Mets swept the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a doubleheader on Saturday night with a 3-0 win in game one and a 13-6 victory in the second game. Syracuse infielder David Thompson combined for a double, triple, home run, and five RBIs between the two games.

In game one, Syracuse (42-62-1) took the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Wilfredo Tovar led off with a single. Thompson followed with a two-run home run that gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. The home run was Thompson’s third two-run homer in a five-game stretch.

The Mets extended their lead in the fifth. David Rodriguez began the frame with a double and moved to third base on an Adam Oller groundout to second base. Two batters later, with two outs, Tovar singled, scoring Rodriguez to give the Mets a 3-0 advantage.

Lehigh Valley (47-58) was stymied by Syracuse starting pitcher Adam Oller. The 26-year-old pitched six scoreless innings of three-hit baseball while allowing just one walk and striking out five batters. In his first four Triple-A starts, Oller has allowed just one earned run in 23 innings pitched for a 0.39 ERA. Mets reliever Stephen Nogosek had his Major League rehab assignment transferred to Syracuse on Saturday and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure a 3-0 Syracuse victory in the first game of the doubleheader.

In game two, Syracuse scored the first run three batters into the game. With one out in the top of the first inning, Tovar worked a walk. Thompson followed with a triple that brought home Tovar for a 1-0 lead.

The Mets broke the game open in the top of the third. Mark Payton singled, and Tovar doubled, placing runners at second and third base to begin the inning. Thompson then doubled to score both Payton and Tovar to make it a 3-0 ballgame. Khalil Lee followed with a single, scoring Thompson for a 4-0 Mets edge. Cheslor Cuthbert added to the advantage with a two-run home run over the left-field wall, giving Syracuse a 6-0 lead. The Mets went on to load the bases in the inning with a Wagner Lagrange walk, Orlando Calixte double, and Jose Colina hit by pitch. Two batters later, with one out, Lagrange scored on a Payton groundout to first, concluding a seven-run inning for Syracuse for a 7-0 advantage.

Lehigh Valley responded in a big way in the bottom of the third. A double, walk, and error loaded the bases. Charlie Tilson then hit a two-run double to trim the Syracuse lead to five, 7-2. Nick Mason followed with a two-run double to cut Lehigh Valley’s deficit to three, 7-4. After C.J. Chatham grounded out, Mickey Moniak hit a sacrifice fly to pull the IronPigs within two, 7-5.

Syracuse answered in the top of the fourth though. With two outs, Cuthbert doubled. Lagrange singled home Cuthbert to push the Mets advantage to three, 8-5. After Lagrange stole second, Calixte hit an infield single, and Lagrange scored from second base with aggressive baserunning and with Lehigh Valley catcher Tyler Heineman dropping the throw home for an error as Syracuse led, 9-5, going to the bottom of the fourth.

The IronPigs scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Adam Haseley led off with a walk. Cornelius Randolph struck out, and Heineman laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Haseley to second base. Nate Fassnacht hit a two-out single, scoring Haseley to make it a 9-6 ballgame with Syracuse still in front.

The Mets put the game out of reach with a run in the sixth inning on a Calixte RBI double and three runs in the seventh inning thanks, in part, to a two-run single from Cuthbert and an RBI single from Lagrange to push the Syracuse advantage to seven, 13-6.

With the doubleheader sweep on Saturday, the Mets have won three of the first five games in the series. Syracuse goes for the series win on Sunday night when the Mets and IronPigs conclude their six-game series. First pitch on Sunday is at 6:35 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park.