The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, completed a series win on Tuesday night with an 8-2, rain-shortened win over the Buffalo Bisons. The Chiefs batted around in a six-run fourth inning against Buffalo starter Justin Germano, blowing the game open for their third straight win, before rain stopped the game after five innings.
Buffalo (3-3) did take an early lead in the first inning against right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, when the Bisons plated two runs. Former Chief Jim Negrych led off the game with a single, before center fielder Anthony Gose tripled to right field to score Negrych. Two pitchers later, right fielder Moises Sierra singled to center field, giving the Bisons a 2-0 lead.
Those runs, however, would be all for the Bisons against Ohlendorf, who picked up his second win in two starts this season. He allowed just five runs and three walks in the five innings, striking out four in the victory.
Syracuse (5-1) got its offense going in the second inning against Germano. With one out in the frame, first baseman Chris Marrero launched a solo home run high into the netting beyond the left-field wall. The long ball - Marrero's first Triple-A home run since August 8, 2011 - cut the Bisons lead in half.
The Chiefs then exploded in a six-run, six-hit fourth inning. Will Rhymes and Corey Brown led off the frame with hard-hit singles before Marrero returned to the plate. The first baseman then lined a ball to left-center field that snuck over Gose's glove and went all the way to the fence. Rhymes and Brown both scored on the play to give Syracuse a 3-2 lead. Shortstop Zach Walters then grounded the game's next pitch to third base, and Marrero ended up in a long rundown. But third baseman Andy LaRoche eventually tossed away a throw to home plate, allowing Marrero to score. Walters, running all the way behind the play, also came home to score. The Chiefs led 5-2 at that point, with both players scoring on a ball that stayed on the infield throughout the entirety of the play.
Syracuse wasn't done in the inning, though. After a Micah Owings single, right fielder Mike Costanzo unloaded on Germano for a two-run home run to right field. The blast, Costanzo's second of the season, capped the inning's scoring.
The Chiefs' final run came in the top of the fifth inning thanks to Owings. Three batters after Brown's leadoff double, Owings punched a 2-2 pitch into center field for an RBI single, giving the Chiefs the 8-2 lead that would double as the final score.
All of the team's scoring came against Germano, the right-hander who had tortured Syracuse over the past two seasons. Last year, Germano allowed just a single run against the Chiefs in 14 innings (two starts) while pitching for Pawtucket. And two seasons ago, Germano threw a perfect game for the Columbus Clippers against the Chiefs.
Syracuse aims for a series sweep on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 against the Bisons. Right-hander Tanner Roark is set to pitch after a six-inning, no-hit performance in his season debut. He'll oppose veteran hurler Ramon Ortiz.