Buffalo, NY –The Syracuse Mets ran into incredible Buffalo pitching on Friday night, falling 2-0 in a classic pitchers’ duel at Sahlen Field. The two teams combined for just eight hits as the two pitching staffs combined to rack up 14 strikeouts. The game was finished in just an hour
Buffalo, NY –The Syracuse Mets ran into incredible Buffalo pitching on Friday night, falling 2-0 in a classic pitchers’ duel at Sahlen Field. The two teams combined for just eight hits as the two pitching staffs combined to rack up 14 strikeouts. The game was finished in just an hour and 53 minutes.
Buffalo (23-17) starting pitcher Max Castillo was the star of this Friday night affair in Buffalo, as the right-hander was a Rubik’s cube on the mound that Syracuse just did not solve. Castillo, making his first ever Triple-A start, was almost unhittable in a brilliant outing. The 23-year-old went seven scoreless innings, striking out eight Mets batters with just two walks. Only five Syracuse batters reached base against Castillo. The native Venezuelan retired the final seven Mets he faced in order.
While Castillo kept Syracuse (14-25) at bay, the Buffalo offense did just enough to secure a victory. The Bisons scored lone runs in the third and sixth innings, two runs that were enough to make sure the Bisons won the ballgame. In the third, Eric Stamets launched a no-doubt home run to left field that made it a 1-0 game. It was the second round-tripper of the season for the native Ohioan.
In the sixth, the Bisons scored their second and final run of the game. Nathan Lukes started the inning by lacing a one-hop double off the left-center field wall before advancing to third on an Otto Lopez groundout. Jordan Groshans plated Lukes after that with an RBI single to give Buffalo a 2-0 advantage. Groshans has had an excellent start to the six-game series. In the first four games, the former first-round pick is 5-for-12 with three runs driven in. Lukes has also played well this week, collecting a hit in each game, going a combined 6-for-16 with three doubles.
Buffalo relievers Joe Biagini and Matt Gage shut the game down after that, pitching the eighth and ninth innings respectively in 1-2-3 fashion to give Buffalo wins in three of the first four games of the series. The Bisons sat down the final 13 Mets batters in order to complete Buffalo’s 23rdvictory of the season.
Not to be lost among the Buffalo pitching excellence – the Syracuse pitching staff also turned in a very solid night of work. Four pitchers (Thomas Szapucki, Félix Peña, Locke St. John, and Alex Claudio) combined to allow just two runs on six hits in eight innings without a single walk. Szapucki worked a 1-2-3 inning in a planned one-inning start, followed by four and one-third innings from Peña in a “piggyback” start with two earned runs on five hits. St. John and Claudio each had scoreless outings out of the bullpen to complete the game after that. Claudio has been one of the relievers in the International League this season. In 13 and two-thirds innings across nine relief outings, Claudio has a 1.98 ERA with 13 strikeouts and four walks.
Syracuse continues its six-game series at the Buffalo Bisons with a Saturday night matchup set for a 6:05 p.m. first pitch. Mike Montgomery is set to start for the Mets. The left-hander has posted a 5.52 ERA in seven prior Triple-A outings this season.