By JOHN LIKANJE
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Tomas Telis went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI to lead the Rochester Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Syracuse Mets in the first game of a doubleheader, Tuesday night, at Frontier Field.
In the bottom of the second inning, Telis hit a one-out single to right field on a pitch in the lower middle section of the plate and drove in Luke Raley, who smacked a leadoff double to left center on the first offering of his at-bat, to break a scoreless tie.
“My first at-bat, they threw me a little off-speed pitch and I just fouled it off, fouled it off,” Telis explained about his approach. “I just waited for something soft and they threw it to me right then and I just tried to hit it the other way and I did.”
Two frames later, Telis launched a pitch right down the middle into the Mets’ bullpen in left field to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
“He (Mets’ starting pitcher Hector Santiago) threw me a fastball and then a slider,” the Red Wings’ catcher noted. “It stayed middle and I hit it good, too. That was a good pitch for me.”
“Big base hit to right to knock in the first run and then he hits the homer,” Red Wings manager Joel Skinner said about Telis. “He stayed on the ball and didn’t try to do too much. Behind the plate, he put up some zeros as the catcher, so it was a really good game for him.”
Telis also squashed a potential Mets’ rally in the top of the third inning. With one out, the Red Wings’ catcher threw out Mets’ shortstop, Danny Espinosa, who lined a double to the left field corner and was attempting to steal third base.
“Our setup when we’re catching is kind of weird,” Telis explained about how he threw out Espinosa. “Those guys, I guess they thought we can’t throw them out down there, but, you know, I just take the ball and threw there. Easy throw for me.”
Tied at two going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Zander Wiel launched the go-ahead solo home run. In a seven-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off four consecutive pitches, the Red Wings’ first baseman took a two-ball, two-strike offering and drove it 408 feet off the M & T Bank sign in left center field.
“We led the whole game and they (Mets) came back and were able to tie it on one swing of the bat,” Skinner explained. “Our guys just came back. It was timely hitting on Wiel’s part.”
Mike Morin closed the game in the top of the seventh inning on 10 pitches to earn his first save of the season.
Wiel has all three of his home runs and five of his RBI in the last two games after a two-home run, four-RBI showing against the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs on Saturday.
The Red Wings have hit 17 home runs this season.
For the Mets, Dilson Herrera smoked a line drive over the left field fence to tie the game at two runs apiece in the top of the sixth inning. The third baseman went 2-for-3 at the dish. Both of Herrera’s hits were to left field.
Hector Santiago hurled five innings, allowed two runs on five hits, a pair of walks and struck out six batters. Coming into tonight’s outing, Santiago had not allowed a hit in the second through fourth innings during his first two starts of the season. Four of the five base knocks the Mets’ pitcher gave up were in the second and fourth frames.
In game two of the doubleheader, four Mets’ pitchers combined for a two-hitter in a 3-0 shutout win over the Red Wings. Ryan O’Rourke, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and played for the Red Wings between 2014 and 2016, pitched three innings, allowed no hits, two walks and struck out a pair of batters. The Mets’ pitcher retired nine of the 11 hitters he faced. Corey Taylor earned the win with two shutout innings of one-hit ball, allowing two walks and two strikeouts. Arquimedes Caminero pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning for his third save of the season.
After hitting a line drive into right field in the top of the third inning, Mets’ left fielder Tim Tebow has a hit in three straight games.
Andreoli has reached base in ten consecutive games after hitting a single in game one and drawing a walk in game two.
The Red Wings (3-9) and Mets (7-6) will reconvene for the series finale Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 PM.