The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped a 13-3 decision to the Durham Bulls on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs carried a 3-3 tie into the seventh inning, but the Bulls scored six unearned runs in the frame to break the game open.
Syracuse (9-14) started the scoring in the third inning with the first two extra-base hits of the series. With two outs and Will Rhymes at first base, first baseman Chris Marrero blasted an opposite-field double to right-center field off of former Chiefs teammate J.D. Martin. Rhymes scored on the play for the game's first run. On the very next pitch, right fielder Mike Costanzo launched a double the other way to left-center, scoring Marrero for a 2-0 lead.
Durham (16-8) would answer in powerful fashion in the fourth inning. The Bulls collected a pair of base runners in the frame against Chiefs started Ross Ohlendorf before Vince Belnome stepped to the plate with two outs. Durham's second baseman then launched a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall for a three-run home run, putting the Bulls ahead by a run.
The Chiefs responded with a long ball of their own in the bottom of the frame. Shortstop Zach Walters took Martin deep on the inning's third pitch for a home run out to right-center field, tying the score at three. Walters' six home runs are tied for the team high with Marrero.
Ohlendorf and Martin would keep the tie intact until the seventh inning, when Durham erupted for a six-run rally. With one out, Brandon Guyer walked, knocking out Ohlendorf for left-hander Xavier Cedeno. The southpaw was greeted by a Cole Figueroa single, putting two runners aboard for Tim Beckham. Durham's shortstop bounced a ground ball to his counterpart, Walters, who attempted to force Guyer out at third base. His throw, however, sailed wide of Carlos Rivero for an error, scoring Guyer on the play for a 4-3 Durham lead. After a walk to Rich Thompson, right-hander Ryan Tatusko replaced Cedeno and induced a ground ball to shortstop from Jason Bourgeois. However, Walters' throw to home plate skipped away from Jeff Howell for his second error of the inning, with Figueroa coming home to extend the lead to two runs. Wil Myers followed with a two-run single into right field, increasing the lead to 7-3, with Leslie Anderson's RBI double and Belnome's RBI single adding an additional pair of runs.
The Bulls scored another four runs in the final innings against Chiefs right-hander Tanner Roark. In the eighth inning, Bourgeois' one-out single scored Beckham from second base, putting Durham ahead by a 10-3 score.
In the ninth, Guyer's double to right field scored Chris Gimenez for the inning's first run. The Bulls' final two runs came on the next two batters, with a Figueroa groundout adding one run and a Beckham single plating another.
Syracuse and Durham will resume their series at 7:00 on Monday night. Chiefs right-hander Chris Young is slated to throw against Bulls right-hander Jake Odorizzi.