The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, rallied back from an early 4-0 deficit to win the series opener against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday night, 6-5. Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss scored Eury Perez with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to win the game.
Lehigh Valley (4-8) struck first with four runs against Chiefs left-hander Danny Rosenbaum in the opening frame. Left fielder Tyler Henson doubled to deep left-center, which was followed by a Maikel Franco single and a Leandro Castro walk to load the bases for shortstop Reid Brignac. Brignac put the IronPigs on the board with a single to right field, scoring two runs. The next two batters, Koyie Hill and Ronny Cedeno, each singled home runs to double the lead to 4-0.
Syracuse (4-7) responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Emmanuel Burriss walked, Will Rhymes singled to right field and Brock Peterson walked to load the bases. Third baseman Brandon Laird hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right to score Burriss. Brian Goodwin cut the lead to two with a single to left field to make it a 4-2 game after one inning.
The Chiefs scored the next run in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim the lead in half. Peterson singled and Laird followed with an RBI double to deep left field off of Lehigh Valley starter David Buchanan.
The IronPigs got their two-run lead back with a solo home run by Jim Murphy to left field in the top of the seventh.
The Chiefs rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Will Rhymes walked, Peterson singled, and Laird walked to load the bases for Brian Goodwin, who walked on four pitches. Left-hander Jeremy Horst then threw a wild pitch, scoring Peterson to tie the game at five.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Chiefs took the lead for the first time. Perez tripled to left after a diving attempt by left fielder Tyler Henson and Burriss scored Perez with a sacrifice fly to deep right field. Ryan Mattheus then shut the door in the ninth inning and picked up his second save of the year.
Syracuse returns to NBT Bank Stadium on Thursday for a doubleheader against the IronPigs starting at 5:00. The Chiefs will send right-hander Ryan Tatusko and left-hander Aaron Laffey to the mound against Lehigh Valley's southpaw Greg Smith and right-hander Brad Lincoln.