By the time Tim Tebow grounded into an inning-ending double play, his Syracuse Mets teammates inflicted all the damage they needed to turn a potential defeat into a matinee victory Thursday afternoon.
The Mets scored four times in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead for good in defeating the Buffalo Bisons, 8-7, at NBT Bank Stadium in a clash between International League North Division rivals. Danny Espinosa and Adeiny Hechavarria each drove in a pair of runs as a crowd of 3,918 watched as Syracuse hitters rallied against Herd reliever Danny Barnes.
Formula for big inning: Rene Rivera led off the eighth with a walk. Rymer Liriano replaced Rivera as a pinch runner. After a David Thompson single, Gregor Blanco worked a walk to load the bases, setting the stage for Espinosa. He doubled to right, bringing home Liriano and Thompson. The blow chased Barnes, who was replaced by Zach Jackson.
Hechavarria wasted little time pouncing on the first pitch he saw from Jackson, lining a two-run single to left. After a flyout, the Mets loaded the bases again, except Jackson got out of the jam by getting Tebow to hit into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
A tiny spark: The Bisons didn’t go down quietly in the ninth, as Cavan Biggio belted a two-out, two-run single to make it 8-7. Andy Burns then drew a walk, but Reese McGuire popped out to short with the game-tying run at third to end the game.
Prospect report: With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. called up by the Toronto Blue Jays and Bo Bichette sidelined with a broken hand, all eyes are now on Biggio. Biggio went 1 for 2, drawing three walks. He’s now batting .418. ... Andy Burns went 2 for 4 and is now batting .257.
Tebow time: Former Heisman Trophy Tim Tebow went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. He stranded eight runners and is now batting .164.
Next: The Bisons head from Syracuse to Lehigh Valley where they open a three-game set against the IronPigs on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Shawn Morimando (0-1, 13.03 ERA) gets the start for the Herd against fellow lefty Ranger Suarez (1-1, 6.75).