The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, defeated the Norfolk Tides, 7-3, in a rain-shortened seven-inning game on Friday night. The Chiefs scored seven runs in the first three innings to back right-hander Chris Young's strong performance on the mound.
Syracuse (14-20) got on the board fast in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Rahl led of the inning with a base hit up the middle. After a sacrifice by Jeff Kobernus that moved Rahl to second, Will Rhymes singled softly into right field, scoring Rahl and giving the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead. The next batter, Chris Marrero, launched a two-run home run over the left-field wall to make the score 3-0.
The Chiefs were back at it again in the bottom of the second inning. After a Carlos Rivero leadoff single, Kris Watts grounded into a force out. The next batter, Erik Komatsu, singled into center field, to put runners on first and second for Rahl. Rahl singled to load the bases before a passed ball plated Watts from third, giving the Chiefs a 4-0 lead. Kobernus then singled into right field, plating Komatsu to make the score 5-0. Syracuse added one more in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Rhymes.
Syracuse put another run on the board in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Zach Walters belted his eighth home run of the season over the right-field fence, giving the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
Norfolk (23-12) finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning. Jason Pridie led off the frame with a home run that snuck inside the foul pole in right field, cutting the Syracuse lead to 7-1. Following a Yamaico Navarro fly out, Russ Canzler singled into right field. The following at-bat, Danny Valencia ripped the ball into right-center field for a two-run home run, slicing the Chiefs' lead to 7-3.
That was all the Tides got off of Young, who allowed just three runs in his six innings. The right-hander threw five scoreless innings before giving up three in the sixth inning but still picked up his first win of the season.
The Chiefs and Tides will tee up an early second game of the series on Saturday afternoon at 2:00. Syracuse right-hander Yunesky Maya and Norfolk left-hander Jake Pettit are scheduled to square off.