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Francisco Álvarez drives in first Triple-A run as Syracuse tops Buffalo, 4-3, on Independence Day 

July 4, 2022

Buffalo, NY–The Syracuse Mets celebrated their Fourth of July in style, beating the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3, on Monday night at Sahlen Field. With the win, the Mets have won five of their last seven games and 13 out of their last 20 overall.

Buffalo, NY**–**The Syracuse Mets celebrated their Fourth of July in style, beating the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3, on Monday night at Sahlen Field. With the win, the Mets have won five of their last seven games and 13 out of their last 20 overall.

Francisco Álvarez grabbed the headlines for Syracuse (33-45) before Monday night’s game, as the top prospect in the New York Mets minor league system was making his Triple-A debut. The 20-year-old catcher did not disappoint, reaching base twice in a 1-for-3 evening at the plate. Álvarez walked in first Triple-A at bat in the top of the first, followed by his first Triple-A hit coming at the right time in the top of the fifth. His sharp, groundball single into left field drove in Gosuke Katoh with two outs, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. Álvarez drove in 47 runs in 67 games with Double-A Binghamton this season, including 16 doubles and 18 home runs.

Early on in the ballgame, the two teams traded a pair of runs in the second inning. The two runs for the Mets came in a flash. With Kramer Robertson on first base with two outs, Katoh pounded a pitch well past the right-field fence to jolt Syracuse in front, 2-0. Katoh has certainly started to find his stride at the plate. In his last seven games, the middle infielder is 7-for-24 (a .292 batting average) at the plate with three extra-base hits, six runs scored, and four runs driven in.

In the bottom of the second inning, Buffalo (41-37) roared right back to tie the game. All the damage came with two outs. First, with Chavez Young standing at first base, Nathan Lukes lined a double to right field that allowed Young to score all the way from first to cut the Syracuse lead to one, 2-1. Lukes had two doubles in Monday night’s game and later scored himself when the next batter, Otto Lopez, doubled to center field to knot the game up, 2-2.

The second inning would prove to be the only blemish on an otherwise solid, workmanlike effort from Connor Grey. The right-hander scattered five hits across five innings of two-run ball, striking out three batters while walking two. Grey finished his start with a flourish, retiring nine of the final ten Bisons batters he faced.

After Álvarez provided his RBI single in the fifth, the Mets got a sorely needed insurance run in the top of the seventh. Katoh doubled with one out but was still stuck there with two outs as Johneshwy Fargas came to the plate. Fargas got the job done once again, grounding a single into center field to score Katoh and make it 4-2 Mets. In the past three games, Fargas has gone 4-for-8 with six runs driven in.

It remained a 4-2 Syracuse lead going into the bottom of the ninth, when things got interesting. Stephen Nogosek entered the game seeking his fourth Triple-A save of the season in as many times, but his attempt got off to a bumpy start when he walked Young to begin the inning. Nogosek bounced back with a strikeout of L.J. Talley. Yet, a single by Logan Warmoth after that put runners on first and third with one out. Lukes then slapped a single into shallow left field, plating Young and slimming the Bisons deficit to just one run, 4-3. After that, Nogosek bore down, striking out Lopez and inducing a lazy flyout by Jordan Groshans to end the game and hand Syracuse another win in its impressive recent streak of play.

Syracuse has a rare off day on Tuesday before returning to action with two games on Wednesday night in Buffalo. Game one of the doubleheader is set for 6:00 p.m. at Sahlen Field. Left-hander Thomas Szapucki is slated to start the first half of the twin bill for the Mets.