(SYRACUSE, NY) - In a game filled with offensive outbursts on both sides, the Charlotte Knights couldn't hold the Syracuse Mets in a 15-8 loss in the first ever meeting between the two teams on Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium.
Down 5-0 and 9-3, the Knights rallied to trim the deficit to 5-3 and 9-8, respectively, but didn't come all the way back as they fell in the opener of their six-game road trip.
Charlotte starter Justin Nicolino (L, 4-2) got off to a rocky start as rehabbing New York Mets Brandon Nimmo and Robinson Cano reached base to start the first inning and came home to score off Nicolino as part of a three-run first inning. The Mets would add two more in the second to jump out to a 5-0 lead.
The Knights got on the board with Zack Collins' RBI double in the fourth, then Adam Engel's two-run home run to left, his sixth of the season, trimmed the Mets' lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth.
But Syracuse responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to increase the lead to 9-3.
In the top of the sixth, Mets pitcher Zach Lee quickly got the first two outs of the inning. The third wouldn't come as easily. Collins walked then scored on Alcides Escobar's double off the wall in center to get a run back. Two hitters later, Danny Mendick singled home Escobar. The next hitter, Engel, hit a fly ball over Nimmo's head in center for a two-run triple. He would score on a wild pitch to cut the Mets' lead to 9-8 before Syracuse finally ended the inning.
However, home runs from Danny Espinosa and Rene Rivera broke the game open for the Mets to take a 15-8 lead in the bottom of the seventh, ending the scoring for the night.
For the Knights, Engel led the way by going 2-for-5 with a triple, home run, and four RBI while Mendick was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Daniel Palka added two hits.
Syracuse got four hits and four RBI from Rivera while Cano posted three hits and Nimmo scored three times. Danny Espinosa and Tim Tebow also recorded multi-hit games for the home team.
Charlotte and Syracuse continue their three-game series on Wednesday night. Ross Detwiler (1-2, 3.54) is scheduled to start for Charlotte. Pre-game radio coverage of the 6:35 p.m. game is set for 6:20 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.