The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, improved to 4-1 with an 8-1 rout of the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night. Syracuse scored four runs in the first inning and cruised behind Danny Rosenbaum's five shutout innings.
Syracuse (4-1) smashed right-hander Casey Lawrence, making his first ever Triple-A debut, right out of the gates. The Chiefs loaded the bases with one out thanks to singles from Jeff Kobernus and Will Rhymes and a Corey Brown walk. Designated hitter Micah Owings then blooped a single down the right-field line, scoring Kobernus for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, third baseman Mike Costanzo cranked a two-run double to left field, with left fielder Ryan Langerhans mishandling the ball for an error. That allowed Owings to score on the back end of the play for the inning's fourth run.
The Chiefs would then add single runs in four of the next five innings. First baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand led off the second inning with a single - one of his four hits on the day out of the ninth position in the order. After a Eury Perez single and Kobernus sacrifice bunt, Rhymes' fielder's choice scored Van Ostrand.
In the fourth inning, the top of the order struck again. Kobernus started the frame with a line-drive triple to right field before Rhymes singled him in. Rhymes finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in, a run scored and a walk.
Kobernus factored into the scoring once again in the fifth inning. Two batters after a Van Ostrand double, Kobernus smashed a two-base hit off the left-field wall to knock in the game's seventh run. Kobernus finished just a home run shy of the cycle, upping his batting average to .579 with a 3-for-5 performance.
Zach Walters then continued his power surge in the sixth inning. With two outs, Syracuse's shortstop took reliever Buddy Carlyle deep for a solo home run over the right-centerfield wall. Walters now has four home runs in the season's first five games.
Buffalo (3-2) scored its only run against relief pitcher Ryan Tatusko in the seventh inning with an RBI groundout from Mike McCoy. However, the Bisons couldn't muster anything against Rosenbaum in the left-hander's Triple-A debut. Rosenbaum allowed just four hits and two walks in his five scoreless innings, which included a pair of inning-ending ground-ball double plays.
The Chiefs and Bisons will tangle tomorrow in the second game of their three-game series at 6:05. Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will throw for Syracuse against Buffalo right-hander Justin Germano.