Worcester, MA – The Syracuse Mets received brilliant pitching and clutch late offense on Wednesday night, taking down the Worcester Red Sox, 5-0, on the 21st night of September at Polar Park. The six-game series is now tied at one game apiece.
Through the first seven innings, the game was defined by pitching. Syracuse (60-83) received maybe its best start of the season, as José Buttó tossed an absolute gem. The right-handed starter allowed just two hits and one walk in seven scoreless innings, striking out 11 batters in the process. Buttó fanned nine of those 11 WooSox batters in swinging fashion. The 24-year-old is in the midst of quite the roll – in his last three starts, Butto has allowed just one run in 19 total innings with eight hits scattered across those frames. Most remarkably, Buttó has walked just two batters while striking out 17 in his last three starts overall.
On the other side, Worcester (72-70) was receiving a brilliant start of its own. Victor Santos hurled seven scoreless innings of his own, surrendering just three hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Santos has been nearly unhittable against the Mets this season. In two starts this season against Syracuse, Santos has tossed a combined 13 scoreless frames with 21 strikeouts.
Both teams finally went to their bullpens in the eighth inning, and that turned out to be excellent news for the Mets. In the eighth, Syracuse scored twice to take the lead for good. After the first two batters went down in order, the Mets went to work. First, Travis Jankowski walked and promptly swiped second base for his 15th stolen base in 16 tries at the Triple-A level this season. Then, Jake Mangum singled Jankowski home to make it a 1-0 game. However, the Mets weren’t done. The next batter, Francisco Álvarez, lined a double into left-center field, scoring Mangum and making it a 2-0 game. Álvarez now has hits in five straight games, going 10-for-19 during this time with nine runs driven in and four extra-base hits. The 20-year-old went 2-for-4 on Wednesday night, his third consecutive multi-hit game.
In the ninth, the Mets put the game away with three final runs to cap the evening’s scoring at 5-0. Seven men came to the plate in the fateful inning, and it all started with nobody on base and one out. Gosuke Katoh walked, moved to third on a Khalil…