A stunning three-game sweep of the New York Mets was not in the cards for the Boston Red Sox.
After taking each of the first two contests against the National League East leaders, the Red Sox were unable to pull off the trifecta in Sunday’s series final. The Mets plated the go-ahead run in the seventh against Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree and held on for a 5-4 win at Citi Field.
GAME IN A WORD
Sunday’s game was the first Mets victory of the series and also the only contest to be decided by just one run.
The Red Sox again held their own against a dominant New York arm — this time touching Noah Syndergaard for four runs in six innings — and took advantage of the Mets’ leaky bullpen once the starter’s outing had ended.
Boston put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in the ninth, as well, but were unable to push the equalizer across against Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Familia worked around consecutive ninth-inning singles to shut the door on the Sox. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out Alejandro De Aza, got pinch hitter Travis Shaw to ground into a fielder’s choice and blew a 100-mph fastball past Mookie Betts to finish things off.
ON THE BUMP
— Red Sox starter Wade Miley allowed one hit but nothing more in the first, then ran into some trouble in the second. The Mets smacked three singles in the frame and sent two more screaming line drives directly into infielders’ gloves. The third base hit came off the bat of Miley’s counterpart, Syndergaard, and gave New York an early 1-0 lead.
Miley responded with a 1-2-3 third, and after Juan Uribe singled and took second on a David Ortiz error, the southpaw set down Anthony Recker to complete a scoreless fourth. Another scoreless frame followed, with Miley striking out two in the fifth and making a nifty behind-the-back snag on a David Wright grounder for the final out.
The sixth inning, however, proved seriously problematic. Two singles, a walk and a double by Uribe allowed the Mets to post three runs in the frame and squandered the lead the Red Sox took just a half-inning earlier.
That sixth inning was the last of the day for Miley, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh. He was charged with four on nine hits, striking out six and walking one, and did not factor in the decision.
— Robbie Ross Jr. took over to begin the seventh. The lefty faced three batters, issuing one walk and striking out one.
— Hembree took over with two outs in the inning and immediately put the Sox back in a hole. David Murphy took advantage of Hembree’s negligence by stealing second base, Michael Cuddyer roped the third pitch he saw from the right-hander into right field for an RBI single.
Hembree finished off the inning, then returned to work a scoreless eighth, allowing an additional single but nothing more.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox struggled to find any solid contact early on against Syndergaard. It took until the 13th batter of the game for a Sox batter to get the ball out of the infield (Ortiz flied out to right to end the fourth), and Boston’s lone hit during that span was a Xander Bogaerts infield single.
— Boston’s first legitimate scoring chance came in the fifth. Brock Holt led off the inning with a single and took second two batters later on a Blake Swihart groundout. The Mets then intentionally walked De Aza to get to Miley, and the pitcher nearly beat out an infield single but ultimately was retired to end the inning.
— One inning later, the Sox broke through. Bogaerts reached on a two-out single down the first base line, and Ortiz followed by crushing the 494th home run of his career over the wall in right field. The two-run shot put Boston ahead 2-1.
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— The Mets’ bullpen has been far from effective in this series, and it failed them again in the seventh. Syndergaard allowed a single and recorded two outs in the inning before exiting with Swihart on third base. Reliever Hansel Robles then proceeded to give up a ground-rule double to pinch hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. and a triple to Betts to tie the game at 4-4.
Betts’ triple wasn’t entirely Robles’ fault, as Cuddyer badly misplayed the ball in left field.
All four runs were charged to Syndergaard, who allowed six hits, walked one, threw a wild pitch and struck out three in 6 2/3 innings of work.
TWEET OF THE GAME
The Red Sox now return home to begin a three-game set with New York’s other team, the Yankees. Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Sox opposite Ivan Nova in Monday’s series opener.
Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images