The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, edged the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a 2-1 win at Coca-Cola Park on Thursday night. Right fielder Jeff Kobernus picked up four hits and the game-winning RBI, and right-hander Caleb Clay pitched into the seventh inning without allowing an earned run in the game.
Lehigh Valley (64-62) opened the scoring late in the game with an unearned sixth-inning run against Clay. Pete Orr led off the inning with a sixth-inning single and advanced to second base on a Freddy Galvis sacrifice bunt. Orr moved to third on a fielding error by second baseman Josh Johnson, who bobbled a ground ball from Steve Susdorf. Third baseman Josh Fields then grounded into a fielder's choice to third base, with Susdorf forced out at second base and Fields safe ahead of the throw from Johnson at first, scoring Orr for the game's first run.
Syracuse (59-68) would answer immediately in the top of the seventh. Johnson started the inning with a four-pitch walk against right-hander David Buchanan and promptly stole second base. Catcher Jhonatan Solano followed with a line-drive single to right field, scoring Johnson to even the game at 1-1. After a strikeout of Clay, left-hander Jay Johnson entered the game and struck out Corey Brown, but a wild pitch in the at-bat advanced Solano to second base. That proved to be pivotal when Kobernus knocked a single over first baseman Cody Overbeck's head into right field, plating Solano from second base for a 2-1 lead.
The Chiefs' pitching staff did the rest. Clay tossed six-and-two thirds innings of four-hit, no-walk ball before giving way to left-hander Xavier Cedeno, who retired all three batters he faced. Right-hander Mark Lowe closed out the game with one-and-one-third innings of scoreless ball.
Syracuse and Lehigh Valley will conclude their three-game series on Friday night at 7:05. Chiefs right-hander Ryan Tatusko and IronPigs left-hander Greg Smith are the scheduled starters.