The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, split a Tuesday evening doubleheader with the Rochester Red Wings. The Chiefs claimed a 5-2 win in the first game before falling in a 6-5 second game. The split gave the Chiefs three wins out of the four-game series.
Syracuse (34-50) got off to a game one lead with a two-run second inning against Red Wings right-hander Cole De Vries. Chris Marrero started the frame with a single to left field before Corey Brown blasted a double to left field, advancing Marrero to third base. Shortstop Zach Walters followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Marrero for a 1-0 lead, before right fielder Chris Rahl continued the left-field barrage. Rahl, the following batter, smoked a double to left, bringing home Brown to give the Chiefs a 2-0 advantage.
Rochester (42-45) grabbed its first run of the series with a third-inning unearned run against Yunesky Maya. Eric Farris reached on a Zach Walters error to start the inning before Ray Olmedo singled him to third base. Two batters later, center fielder Antoan Richardson doubled in Farris for the Red Wings' first run of the series. Maya, however, escaped the inning with no further damage, ending the frame by inducing a Chris Colabello groundout with the bases loaded.
The teams traded runs in the fifth inning. Jeff Kobernus started the Chiefs' half of the frame with a double, and two batters later, stole third base with Will Rhymes at the plate. After Rhymes walked, Marrero followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead.
Rochester answered in the bottom of the frame. Olmedo and Drew Butera put together back-to-back singles before Richardson advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt. Shortstop Doug Bernier then knocked a sacrifice fly into center field to cut the Chiefs' lead to one run.
Syracuse put together the game's final tallies with a pair of seventh-inning scores against right-hander Michael Tonkin. After Rhymes doubled on an 0-2 pitch to start the inning, Marrero blasted an 0-1 pitch to left-center field for a run-scoring double. Three batters later, Rahl's sacrifice fly gave Syracuse a 5-2 lead.
The Red Wings scored the second game's first run in bizarre fashion. In the bottom of the first inning, Farris singled and Colabello walked against right-hander Christian Garcia, pitching on major-league rehab. With Jeff Clement at bat, the runners broke on a 3-2 pitch, which Clement flied to center fielder Corey Brown. Brown's throw back to first base, however, bounced off of the sliding Colabello and redirected into the Rochester dugout, scoring Farris for a 1-0 Rochester advantage.
The Chiefs jumped quickly ahead in the second inning with three runs off of Rochester starter Vance Worley. With one out, Brown and Rahl picked up back-to-back singles to left field. After a Brian Bocock fly out, Josh Johnson walked to load the bases. Catcher Kris Watts then worked the count full before walking to force in a run and tie the score. Kobernus followed by slashing a double to left field, scoring Rahl and Johnson to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.
Rochester would tie the game in its second-inning turn at bat. With one out, James Beresford doubled and Ray Olmedo walked, ending Garcia's rehab stint after 39 pitches. Right-hander Mark Lowe was summoned from the bullpen, and catcher Eric Fryer greeted him with a two-run double to left field, squaring the score at three.
The Red Wings grabbed the lead back with three two-out runs in the fourth inning against Ryan Tatusko. Farris started the rally with a single before Colabello singled him to second base. Clement scored Farris with an RBI single to center field, giving Rochester a 4-3 lead and bringing up Deibinson Romero. The third baseman deposited a two-run double down the left-field line to put the Red Wings ahead by a 6-3 score.
Brown grabbed one of the runs back for Syracuse in the fifth inning. With two outs, Syracuse's center fielder smashed a solo home run to right-center field off of Worley, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
In the seventh inning, the middle of the order kept the Chiefs alive against left-hander Aaron Thompson. Marrero tripled to right field with one out, and Brown singled him home on a ground ball that trickled away from Colabello at first base. Right-hander Luis Perdomo, however, entered the game to retire the next two hitters and preserve the Rochester win.
The Chiefs next head to Lehigh Valley for one road game against the IronPigs on Wednesday night at 7:05. Left-handers Danny Rosenbaum and Greg Smith are slated to throw for Syracuse and Lehigh Valley, respectively.