The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, split a doubleheader with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday. Syracuse won game one 5-3, while Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took game two 6-3. Micah Owings hit a home run in each game and drove in three runs on the night.
In game one, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (36-43) got on the board early. With two outs in the top of the first inning, Fernando Martinez doubled to right field. The next batter, Brent Lillibridge, singled to center field to give the RailRiders a 1-0 lead.
But Syracuse (30-48) got that run back in the bottom of the inning. Will Rhymes led off the frame with a triple. After a strikeout, Chris Rahl doubled to left field to score Rhymes and tie the game at one.
In the top of the second inning, Corey Patterson came to the plate with two outs and runners at second and third base. He singled on a ground ball to right field to score Randy Ruiz and Addison Maruszak and the RailRiders went back on top, 3-1.
Once again, though, Syracuse came right back in the bottom of the frame. With Carlos Rivero at third base, Micah Owings at second base and nobody out, Brian Bocock hit a line-drive single to right field to score Rivero and cut the deficit to one. Brian Jeroloman then singled to right field to score Owings and tie the game, 3-3.
Syracuse took its first lead of the game in the fifth inning. Will Rhymes led off the inning with a triple to right field Two batters later, Rahl hit a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Chiefs up 4-3.
Owings gave Syracuse some insurance in the sixth. With two outs, he blasted a home run over the right-field wall to give the Chiefs a 5-3 lead.
Those runs were enough for Yunesky Maya, who pitched six innings in the win. Mike Broadway came on in the seventh inning for Syracuse and struck Scranton/Wilke-Barre out in order to seal the game.
In game two, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the lead in the top of the first inning once again. With two outs and the bases empty, Fernando Martinez hit a home run to right field off Syracuse starter Jeff Mandel to give the RailRiders the game's first run.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added to its lead with another solo home run in the second. This time, Ruiz blasted the first pitch he saw to left field and the RailRiders took a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Casey Stevenson came to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. He hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Dan Johnson from third and increase the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead to 3-0
Syracuse got on the board in the fifth. With Costanzo on first and two outs, Owings blasted his second home run of the doubleheader to left-center field and cut the deficit to one.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got those runs back and then some in the top of the sixth inning. With Thomas Neal on first base and no outs, Johnson homered to right field put the RailRiders back up by three runs, 5-2. After a groundout, Stevenson hit a solo home run to right field to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre its largest lead of the game, 6-2.
Syracuse came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Rhymes reached base on a one-out single. A couple of batters later, Carlos Rivero doubled to center field to score Rhymes and cut the deficit to 6-3.
RailRiders pitcher Dellin Betances, however, gave up only an infield single in the seventh and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre held on for the win.
These two teams are back in action Thursday night at 7:00. Right-hander Ryan Tatusko takes the hill for Syracuse, while right-hander Caleb Cotham goes for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.