Rochester, NY - The Syracuse Mets guaranteed that the final day of the 2019 regular season will count with a 7-3 victory over the Rochester Red Wings on Sunday night at Frontier Field. With the win, the Mets are still alive in the playoff hunt, sitting one game behind the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for first place in the International League North Division.
Syracuse (74-65) scored first in the top of the second inning. Jason Krizan led off with a double. Two batters later, Travis Taijeron walked. Braxton Lee followed with a single that loaded the bases. Aaron Altherr then hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Krizan for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
The Mets added a pair of runs in the third. With one out, Arismendy Alcantara doubled. Two batters later, Danny Espinosa walked, putting runners at first and second base. Krizan followed with a two-out double that brought home both Alcantara and Espinosa for a 3-0 Mets advantage.
Syracuse starting pitcher Drew Gagnon was stellar. The 29-year-old threw six scoreless innings while striking out six batters and allowing just five hits and one walk. Gagnon lowered his earned run average to 2.33, which would lead the league if he had enough innings pitched to qualify for the league leaderboard.
Rochester (70-69) tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, Yeltsin Encarnacion hit a ground-rule double, Ramón Flores singled, and Wilin Rosario walked to load the bases. Former Syracuse Chiefs outfielder Alejandro De Aza then hit a two-run double to pull the Red Wings within one, 3-2. Then, with Brandon Barnes batting, a wild pitched scored Rosario from third base, knotting the game, 3-3. Barnes struck out, and Ronald Torreyes grounded out to keep the game tied.
The Mets responded in the eighth. Alcantara and Jed Lowrie both walked to begin the frame. Espinosa followed with an RBI double to give Syracuse the lead back, 4-3. Two batters later, Rymer Liriano was intentionally walked to load the bases. Travis Taijeron was hit by a pitch to bring in Lowrie from third for a 5-3 edge, a wild pitch scored Espinosa to make it a 6-3 ballgame, and a Braxton Lee RBI single gave the Mets a 7-3 lead.
Syracuse didn't allow Rochester to score in the bottom of the eighth, and after a scoreless top of the ninth, the game entered the final stanza. With rain continuing to fall, as it had been for most of the game, the tarp was put on the field two pitches in to the bottom of the ninth inning. The rain continued, and the game was called and made official for the 7-3 Syracuse win.
The Mets and Red Wings conclude their series and the regular season on Monday afternoon. RHP Harol Gonzalez is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite RHP Edwar Colina for Rochester. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.