The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped a second straight one-run decision in a 2-1 loss to the Charlotte Knights on Wednesday afternoon. Right-hander Caleb Clay tossed six-and-two-third innings of two-run ball in his Triple-A debut, but a pair of Charlotte runs in the seventh inning led the Knights to victory.
Syracuse (28-42) cracked the scoring in the fourth inning against Knights right-hander Jason Berken. With one out, shortstop Zach Walters knocked a double into left field - his team-leading 17th two-base hit of the season. Right fielder Chris Rahl grounded the next pitch into right field for an RBI single, plating Walters for a 1-0 Chiefs lead.
Clay, meanwhile, shut down Charlotte (31-42) for six innings in his Triple-A debut. The 25-year-old right-hander retired the first 14 hitters of the game and carried the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
The Knights, however, finally got on the board with a pair of runs in the frame. Designated hitter Mike McDade started the inning with a solo home run to right field, tying the score at one. After a pair of outs, catcher Bryan Anderson doubled to right field to bring up Steve Tolleson. The Charlotte shortstop punched the next pitch into right-center field for a single, scoring Tolleson and putting the Knights ahead, 2-1.
Syracuse and Charlotte will conclude their four-game series on Thursday night at 7:15. Right-handers Jeff Mandel and Zach Stewart are slated to start for the Chiefs and Knights, respectively.