Late Rally Falls Short as Braves Clip Chiefs
The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, were defeated by the Gwinnett Braves on Tuesday, 5-4. The Chiefs rallied with four runs from the sixth to the eighth innings, but the Braves held on for the win after an early 4-0 lead.
Gwinnett (23-30) got on the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first inning. After a one-out single from Todd Cunningham, Tyler Pastornicky lined a double into right field to plate Cunningham from first base. The next batter, Ernesto Mejia, doubled into deep center field to score Pastornicky from third, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead.
The Braves extended their lead in the top of the third inning. Following a leadoff single from Cunningham, Pastornicky launched a home run over the center-field wall, increasing their lead to 4-0.
That was all the Braves would get off of Chiefs starter Matt Torra in his first home start of the season. Torra allowed just four runs in seven innings, walking none while striking out two.
Syracuse (22-29) finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. After a one-out double by Chris Rahl, Will Rhymes walked. With two runners on, Chris Marrero belted a double off the left-field wall, scoring both Rahl and Rhymes to cut the Braves' lead to 4-2.
The Chiefs plated another run in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a leadoff walk from Zach Walters, Kris Watts singled softly into right field. Micah Owings then pinch-hit for Torra and singled into left field to slice the Gwinnett lead to 4-3.
Gwinnett added one more in the top of the eighth inning. Pastornicky led off the inning with a single and later stole second. With one out, Joey Terdoslavich knocked a sacrifice fly into center field, plating Pastornicky from third base to put the Braves up by two runs.
Syracuse got on the board again in the bottom of the eighth inning. After reliever Kameron Loe hit Marrero to lead off the inning, Corey Brown singled into center field. With two runners on, Carlos Rivero reached on a sacrifice bunt when Loe committed a fielding error. Left-hander Ryan Buchter replaced Loe and threw a wild pitch, scoring Marrero from third to cut the Braves' lead to 5-4. Buchter, however, bounced back by striking out the next three hitters to end the Chiefs rally.
Syracuse and Gwinnett will play the third game of their four-game series on Wednesday night at 7:00. Chiefs left-hander Danny Rosenbaum and Braves left-hander Yohan Flande are the scheduled starters.
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