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Mets engineer comebacks in minor league playoffs

Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (50), who was

Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (50), who was just called up, delivers against the Yankees in a game at Citi Field on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Credit: AP

Wednesday was the first day of the playoffs for the three Mets minor league affiliates who made the postseason. Here’s a look at how they fared in Game 1:

TRIPLE-A – Las Vegas 51s vs. Reno Aces (Diamondbacks)

The skinny: L.J. Mazzilli singled with one out in the bottom of the eighth to score Cory Vaughn with the go-ahead run, and Gonzalez Germen pitched a perfect ninth to save the 5-4 win. Vaughn was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the eighth, and Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked with one out, just ahead of Mazzilli’s at-bat, moving Vaughn to second.

Rafael Montero started for Las Vegas, opposing former Padres starter Clayton Richard. Montero was knocked around, though he limited the damage. In 4.1 innings, he allowed seven hits, four walks and three runs (earned), striking out six. John Lannan, Jack Leathersich, Zack Thornton, Miguel Socolovich and Germen combined for 4.2 innings of relief, allowing four hits, two walks and only one run, striking out seven.

The standouts:

Kevin Plawecki, C: 2-for-4 with a home run

Cory Vaughn, CF: 1-for-3 with a home run and a hit-by-pitch

Andrew Brown, RF: 0-for-1 with three walks

NOTES: Matt Bowman (3.21 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .267 average against) pitches Game 2 on Thursday for the 51s, opposing Andrew Chafin (4.08 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, .278 average against)…Montero had one at-bat and doubled…Brandon Allen had a pinch-hit single…ex-Met Mike Jacobs, playing for Reno, went 2-for-5 (both singles).

DOUBLE-A – Binghamton Mets vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)

The skinny: T.J. Rivera hit a two out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Mets, 8-5. Xorge Carillo reached on a costly fielding error by third baseman Mike Miller with one out. The next hitter, Wilfredo Tovar, singled and Brandon Nimmo struck out, which would have been the third out of the frame had Miller not made his misplay. But with the inning extended, Rivera was able to end the game in dramatic fashion.

The Mets tied the score at 5-5 with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Tovar doubled to lead off the inning and reached third on Nimmo’s groundout. Rivera doubled, scoring Tovar, and Brian Burgamy walked. Jayce Boyd reached on a throwing error by second baseman Sean Coyle as Rivera scored and Burgamy went to third. Darrell Ceciliani’s sacrifice fly completed the rally.

Tyler Pill started for the Mets and was charged with all five Sea Dogs runs in his 5.2 innings. Hansel Robles and Cody Satterwhite combined for 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and a walk, and striking out six.

The standouts:

T.J. Rivera, 2B: 4-for-5 with two doubles and a home run

Wilfredo Tovar, SS: 3-for-4 with a double

NOTES: Greg Peavey (4.64 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .258 average) pitches Game 2 on Thursday for the Mets, opposing Justin Haley (2.35 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, .227 average against).

SINGLE-A – Savannah Sand Gnats vs. Asheville Tourists (Rockies)

The skinny: Sand Gnats starter Robert Gsellman got hit hard, allowing eight hits, three walks and five runs (all earned) in five innings, striking out five. Gsellman had allowed four or more runs in just four of his 17 regular season games. He’d walked more than two hitters in a game only four times, too.

The standouts:

Champ Stuart, CF: 4-for-5 with a double and a home run

Jhoan Urena, 3B: 1-for-3 with a walk

Michael Conforto, LF: 2-for-5 with a double

Matt Oberste, DH: 2-for-5

Victor Cruzado, RF: 2-for-5 with a double

NOTES: The Sand Gnats resume their series on Friday at home. John Gant (2.56 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .231 average against) is slated to start Game 2 for Savannah, opposing Antonio Senzatela (3.11 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .243 average against)…Conforto and Urena spent their regular seasons with Staten Island but were promoted to Savannah for the playoff run. Both are highly regarded prospects in the Mets organization. Conforto was the Mets’ top pick in June’s draft…Top reliever Akeel Morris pitched to one batter in the ninth, striking him out.

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