The Syracuse Mets struggled to capitalize with runners on base, leaving eight stranded in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Bisons on Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Despite the loss, Mark Payton provided another big game for Syracuse, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. In the series, Payton is now 6-for-18 with three home runs and five RBIs.
Buffalo (79-47) struck first in the top of the first inning when Kevin Smith launched a solo home run with two outs to give the Bisons an early 1-0 lead.
Buffalo increased their lead in the top of the second inning. Kellin Deglan led off the frame with a single and then Nash Knight grounded into a fielder’s choice as Deglan was retired at second base. Next, Logan Warmoth hit a double to center field to advance Knight to third base. Forrest Wall followed with a two-run double to make it 3-0 Bisons.
In the top of the fifth, Gregory Polanco hit a solo home run to make it 4-0 Buffalo. It was Polanco’s third home run of the series.
Syracuse (50-75-1) got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Payton hit a one-out double and Wilfredo Tovar brought him home with an RBI double to make it 4-1 with the Bisons still in front.
Vance Worley started his final game for Syracuse on the mound this season and went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Jesús Reyes followed Worley, delivering three scoreless innings in relief. The right-hander allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out three.
The score was still 4-1 Bisons going to the bottom of the ninth, where Buffalo reliever Byran Baker came out of the bullpen looking for the save. He recorded a 1-2-3 inning for his eleventh save of the season. With the win, the Bisons improve to 8-1 in the ten game final stretch.
The Mets and Bisons return to NBT Bank Stadium on Sunday for the series finale. Syracuse right-hander Jerad Eickhoff faces Buffalo southpaw Anthony Kay. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.
Mark Payton went 2-for-4, hitting two doubles on Saturday night.