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Mets outlast Red Wings

By: Liam Hoffmann


ROCHESTER, NY-- On a rainy start to the day, the Rochester Red Wings fell to the Syracuse Mets 13-5 in Game 1 of the return to Innovative Field. After getting out to a 4-1 lead in the second inning, Rochester couldn't keep up the offensive pace presented by the Mets.


Darren Baker's two singles were good to make him the only Red Wing with multiple hits. Victor Robles, who is in Rochester on a rehab assignment, had an early triple before being substituted out for Jake Alu in the sixth inning. James Wood and Juan Yepez had an RBI each.


"It's awesome, I've had Vic (Victor Robles) a long time, he was a big part of that World Series team in '19, he's battled through some injuries but I love when he's here," Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy said. "These guys can watch him play and hopefully he'll stay healthy and be activated."


Victor Robles celebrating with his teammates on April 30 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger

Rochester starting pitcher Jackson Rutledge went five innings for the second time this year, becoming the second Red Wing to do so (DJ Herz). In those frames, he allowed three earned runs, walked three batters and struck out four while surrendering a fourth-inning home run to Yolmer Sanchez.


In the first half-inning of play, Rutledge easily retired Syracuse's one and two-hole hitters before walking Rylan Bannon in six pitches. Trayce Thompson then popped a ball into left that fell in front of Wood for a two-out single that advanced Bannon. In the ensuing at-bat, Luke Ritter found the same spot which singled and scored Bannon. Rutledge stopped the bleeding with a five-pitch strikeout of Jose Iglesias, leaving two runners on base.


The Red Wings answered back in the bottom of the first. Wood walked and then stole second. Yepez punched in with an RBI single to deep left field and leveled the game 1-1.


To lead off the bottom of the second, Jack Dunn hit a one-out double which found the wall. Jackson Cluff's groundout to first advanced Dunn to third and put Darren Baker up to bat. Baker's single drove in Dunn for the lead and successfully extended his on-base streak to a team-leading 17 games. Robles then tripled and scored Baker. Wood was the final Wing to reach base in the inning and his two-out single drove in Robles and increased the Rochester lead to 4-1.


A smiley Darren Baker on April 30 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger

After some difficulties in the first inning, Rutledge got more effective beginning with the K of Iglesias that got the game to inning two. Rutledge had thrown 29 strikes and 13 balls when he struck out Ben Gamel for the second out of the third. Bannon was walked in the third but no other Syracuse batters reached base in innings two or three.


"[Rutledge] had some really tough circumstances with some of his outings," LeCroy said. "Rain, he got hit by a pitch, he had a little bit of a bad back there early in the season. We got rain again, when he pitched Sunday he got rain, but I thought he did well."


Jackson Rutledge pitching on April 30 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger

Syracuse made it a game once more in the fourth. Iglesias reached second due to an error by Cluff and then Carlos Cortes became the third Met who was walked of the game. Yolmer Sanchez's bomb to right field drove in the two runners and tied the game at 4-4. The Red Wings failed to respond in the bottom half. After Cluff and Baker each reached base, Robles struck out and Wood hit into a double play while up 3-0 in the count.


Iglesias blew the game open in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer that scored Ritter. From there, Cortes, Sanchez and Gamel each walked and loaded the bases. Rochester reliever Stephen Nogosek, who got the first two outs of the inning but also surrendered the go-ahead home run, was pulled in favor of TJ Zeuch. Zeuch recorded the third out as Bannon grounded to Cluff and helped the Wings escape.


"We had some command issues then, you know, obviously we gave up the homer but pushed out of a little jam after," LeCroy said. "Zeuch came in with the bases loaded, he ended that threat."


Things got no better for Rochester after that, they went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Syracuse exploded offensively and shut away the Red Wings. Ritter singled on a ground ball to center field before Iglesias shot his second homer of the evening to left field and extended the lead to 8-4. Then, Cortes, Sanchez, Senger and Luisangel Acuña all got base hits and all eventually scored, with the final RBI coming from Bannon's left-field home run that made the score 13-4. Zeuch ended his outing with seven hits and seven runs allowed including the two home runs.


"[Zeuch] didn't have it in that seventh so the game got away from us," LeCroy said. "But, you got to give them credit, they took advantage of our mistakes and walks...they made us pay."


Jose Iglesias celebrating with his teammates on April 30 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger

There were no more runs in the game until the ninth inning when Jack Dunn hit a single and eventually scored via a Jake Alu sacrifice fly to right field. Carter Kieboom then struck out swinging and ended the contest.


The Wings and Mets will square off again tomorrow evening, first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Spenser Watkins (1-0, 6.11) is expected to be on the mound for Rochester and Joey Lucchesi (2-1, 2.42) is for Syracuse.



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