The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, edged the Indianapolis Indians, 9-8, on Tuesday night to earn a four-game sweep at Victory Field. Left fielder Tyler Moore clubbed a pair of home runs and drove in six runs in the win, with Moore's second homer breaking a ninth-inning tie. The Chiefs won despite blowing a seven-run lead in the game.
Moore started the ninth inning with a blast against Indianapolis right-hander Duke Welker. The left field fell behind in a 1-2 count before smashing a Welker pitch onto the berm over the left-center field wall, giving Syracuse (49-59) an 8-7 lead. Moore's now reached base in 16 consecutive games since being optioned from Washington and homered six times in 28 Syracuse games this season. Two batters later, third baseman Zach Walters slashed a triple into the right-field corner, and right fielder Chris Rahl followed with a sacrifice fly for a two-run advantage.
Syracuse closer Erik Davis retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the ninth before first baseman Matt Hague reached on a fielding error by Walters. After Hague reached second base on defensive indifference, pinch-hitter Ali Solis lined a single to right field, with Hague taking third base before scoring on an error by Rahl. Jerry Sands then grounded a ball toward center field, but second baseman Will Rhymes flagged it down and flipped fading away to Danny Espinosa at shortstop for a game-ending force out.
The Chiefs grabbed the game's first run in the opening inning against Indians starting pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth. With one out, Corey Brown doubled to right field. Two batters later, Moore slammed a double to left field, scoring Brown for a 1-0 lead.
Syracuse added two more runs thanks to an unlikely offensive source in the second inning. With two outs and Walters on second base, starting pitcher Caleb Clay laced an opposite-field double to right field to bring home Walters and give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. The double was Clay's first career hit in 18 at-bats - all of which have come this season. After a Rhymes single moved Clay to third base, Brown reached on a fielding error by third baseman Jared Goedert that scored Clay.
Syracuse unloaded on Hollingsworth in the fourth. Rhymes singled and Brown doubled to start the inning. Danny Espinosa then reached on a Goedert throwing error, loading the bases with no outs for Moore. The left fielder immediately drilled Hollingsworth's first pitch over the left-field wall for a grand slam and a 7-0 Syracuse lead. Moore's now hit a pair of grand slams with the Chiefs this season.
Indianapolis (63-48), however, began its improbable offensive rally in the sixth inning. Lucas May doubled and pinch-hitter Darren Ford singled against Clay to start the frame. Clay induced center fielder Felix Pie to ground into a double play, scoring a run, but the Indians weren't done in the frame. After a Chase d'Arnaud single, left fielder Andrew Lambo knocked a home run over the right-field wall, slicing the deficit to 7-3.
In the seventh, right-hander Cole Kimball retired the first two batters of the inning before the Indians rallied once more. May singled, pinch-hitter Ivan DeJesus, Jr. walked, and Pie blooped a single to left field to cut the lead to 7-4. After a d'Arnaud walk, Lambo grounded a two-run single into right field, bringing the Indians within 7-6. Right-hander Mark Lowe then relieved Kimball, but first baseman Matt Hague followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring d'Arnaud to even the score.
Syracuse next travels to Louisville to begin a four-game series with the Bats on Tuesday night at 7:05. Chiefs right-hander Yunesky Maya and Bats right-hander Yohan Pino are the scheduled starters.