WORCESTER — Red Sox’s starting pitcher Brian Keller struggled early on, allowing 3 runs in the first inning. After giving up a one-out single to Mets’ first basemen Dominic Smith, Keller walked the next three batters to bring Smith in and give Syracuse the lead. Mets’ left fielder Khalil Smith then drove in another with an infield single before shortstop J.T. Riddle brought home the third with a sacrifice fly to left-center field.
The Red Sox scored their first run in the third inning off a groundball from designated hitter Connor Wong to the Mets’ second baseman Deven Marrero, who decided to turn the double-play, allowing Red Sox shortstop Ryan Fitzpatrick to come in from third base.
Both teams struggled to create any offense in the middle innings, but in the top of the seventh, the dam broke.
Syracuse’s starting pitcher Josh Walker walked Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas to start the inning. Right fielder Pedro Castellanos then singled to right field and left fielder Christin Smith walked as well to load the bases for Fitzgerald with no outs. He hit a fly to shallow right field that was just enough to bring in Casas from third.
After another walk loaded the bases, the Mets took out Walker and brought in R.J. Alvarez from the bullpen. But the pitching change could not stop the momentum shift, as Wong ripped a single up the middle that brought in two more runs and gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night, 4-3, with only one out in the top of the seventh.
Alvarez picked up a second out on a fielder’s choice, but another walk loaded the bases for the third time in the inning, forcing the Mets to bring in Bryce Montes de Oca. But Montes de Oca struggled as well, walking Casas for his second walk in the inning before giving up a two-RBI single to Castellanos to give the Red Sox an 8-3 lead.
Michael Otanez was then brought in by Syracuse, but that did little to stop the avalanche. Stewart doubled to bring in Casas from third, and back-to-back walks to Fitzgerald and third baseman Nick Sogard brought in another run. Wong then slapped a two-RBI single before Otanez could finally close the seventh with the Red Sox leading 12-3 off a mammoth 11-run inning.
Syracuse fought back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh off a two-RBI double from third basement Mark Vientos. They followed that up with one run in the eighth off a fielder’s choice and two runs in the ninth off a two-RBI single from Riddle.
But ultimately their efforts were in vain, as Worcester closed out the game, 12-8. The Red Sox improve to 62-59, with reliever Chase Shugart (2-1) earning the win. Josh Walker (0-2) takes the loss for the Mets, who drop to 51-70. Wong, who hit two home runs in Worcester’s victory on Thursday night, came up big again with 4 RBIs.
Worcester continues their six-game series against Syracuse on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m.