The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost a 3-2 walkoff decision to the Toledo Mud Hens on Thursday night from Fifth Third Field. The Chiefs carried a 2-0 lead into the ninth behind six scoreless innings from Taylor Jordan, but Toledo rallied for three runs in the final frame and won on a game-ending balk.
After a scoreless seventh inning from Ryan Mattheus and shutout eighth from Zach Jackson, Toledo (19-22) rallied in the ninth. Mike Hessman led off the inning with a single, and two batters later, first baseman Jordan Lennerton bashed an RBI triple high off the right-field wall, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Right fielder Ben Guez was then hit by a Jackson pitch, putting runners at the corners. Center fielder Wade Gaynor then knocked an RBI double to center field, scoring one run moving Guez to third base. Right-hander Daniel Stange then entered, but after his first pitch to Brandon Douglas, Stange committed a balk, scoring Guez from third base to end the game.
Mud Hens starter Drew VerHagen tossed five scoreless innings before Syracuse (20-20) finally got to him in the sixth. After a leadoff walk by Emmanuel Burriss, Will Rhymes beat out a bunt single to catcher James McCann. Center fielder Steven Souza, Jr. followed with an infield single to shortstop, loading the bases with nobody out. Two batters later, catcher Jhonatan Solano knocked an 0-2 pitch into right field for a sacrifice fly, plating Burriss for the game's first run. Designated hitter Brian Goodwin followed with an RBI single, scoring Rhymes for a 2-0 lead.
Jordan, meanwhile, held Toledo largely in check while throwing six sharp innings. He surrendered just five hits and one walk, striking out three. Jordan recorded 12 groundouts in the game out of his 18 total outs.
Syracuse looks for a series split with Toledo on Friday night at 7:00. Chiefs right-hander Blake Treinen and Mud Hens right-hander Derek Hankins.