Norfolk, VA – The Syracuse Mets closed out Thursday afternoon’s game, hanging on to beat the Norfolk Tides, 5-4, on Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park. It was the first win of the week for the Mets after dropping the first two games in the six-game series. The win snapped a
Norfolk, VA – The Syracuse Mets closed out Thursday afternoon’s game, hanging on to beat the Norfolk Tides, 5-4, on Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park. It was the first win of the week for the Mets after dropping the first two games in the six-game series. The win snapped a six-game losing streak. The Mets had also lost their last five games when having a multiple-run lead.
Norfolk (30-11) got off to an excellent start when Jordan Westburg smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Tides a 1-0 lead right out of the gate. However, from there, Denyi Reyes got to work. The Mets starting pitcher allowed just one run in the first five innings of his outing, allowing only one other hit aside from the Westburg home run. In fact, Norfolk had just three total baserunners in the first five innings of the game.
While Reyes was holding the Tides in check, the Syracuse (17-25) offense gave him some run support and manufactured three runs in the top of the third inning. Danny Mendick walked leading off the frame and advanced to second base on a Ronny Mauricio groundout. A Gary Sánchez single moved Mendick to third with one out, followed by another single from DJ Stewart that plated Mendick, moved Sánchez to second and made it a 1-1 game. One more single from Jaylin Davis in the third inning loaded up the bases with still just one out, and then things got a little goofy. After a Jonathan Araúz strikeout left the Mets in danger of leaving the bases loaded, a pair of mistakes by the Tides gave Syracuse its two-run cushion. First, a pitch hit Tim Locastro, bringing home Sánchez to make it a 2-1 game. Then, Carlos Cortes worked a four-pitch walk, allowing Stewart to score to give Syracuse a 3-1 advantage.
Syracuse squeezed across another run in the top of the fifth to add to its lead. Consecutive walks by Davis and Stewart to start the inning put two on base with nobody out, followed by a fielder’s choice from Araúz that put Davis on third and Araúz at first as Stewart was forced out at second base. The next batter, Locastro, hit a ground ball on the middle of the infield that looked destined to be an inning-ending double play. However, the speedy Locastro beat the throw to first base as Davis scored and increased the Mets lead to 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Norfolk offense awoke from its early-afternoon slumber. A Connor Norby double to start the inning followed by a flyout from Westburg put a runner on third with one out, necessitating Reyes’ removal from the game. T.J. McFarland came out of the bullpen and immediately faced trouble. A Kyle Stowers single scored Norby, followed by a Ronny Mauricio fielding error that put runners on first and second with still just one out in a 4-2 game. The next batter, Daz Cameron, singled to load up the bases, followed by a Lewin Díaz sacrifice fly that scored Stowers and made it a 4-3 game. Luckily for McFarland, he struck out Shayne Fontana to end the inning and ensure Syracuse was still in front by a 4-3 margin.
The lead wouldn’t last, as Norfolk tied the game up in the bottom of the seventh. Anthony Bemboom led off with a triple, and the next batter, Maverick Handley, singled on the very next pitch to score Bemboom and knot the game up, 4-4. However, McFarland escaped the inning without any further damage, setting the stage for the Mets to take the lead back in the top of the eighth.
In the eighth, Araúz singled with one out and then received a gift that allowed him to scamper all the way to third base. As Locastro struck out looking, Araúz stole second base, and a poor throw from the catcher Handley allowed Araúz to move up ninety feet to third base. Carlos Cortes followed with a single into left field that scored Araúz and gave the Mets the lead back, 5-4.
From there, the bullpen shut the door. First, McFarland wiggled out of potential trouble again in the eighth, stranding two more runners on base to keep the 5-4 lead. In the ninth, Tony Dibrell came out of the bullpen. Dibrell struck out Bemboom to start the frame. Handley then singled, putting the tying run on base. Dibrell struck out Norby, but with Jordan Westburg batting, a wild pitch allowed Handley to move up to second base. Dibrell induced a Westburg groundout that ended the ballgame as Dibrell earned his first career save.
Syracuse continues the second half of its two-week, 12-game road trip with the fourth game against the Norfolk Tides on Friday. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m.