The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, clinched a winning road trip with a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night from Coca-Cola Field. The win gave the Chiefs five wins in eight games on the road trip against Rochester and Buffalo.
Steven Souza, Jr. blasted off for the first Syracuse (32-25) run in the fourth inning. With one out, Souza smashed an 0-1 pitch from Kyle Drabek off the netting high over the left-center field wall for a solo home run. Souza, the International League leader in batting average and on-base percentage entering the night, gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
Buffalo (27-27) retaliated in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Jonathan Diaz and Darin Mastroianni walked. Munenori Kawasaki followed with a single slashed to left field, scoring Diaz to even the game and moving Mastroianni to third base. Catcher Jhonatan Solano then committed a passed ball on Aaron Laffey's fourth ball to Jared Goedert, allowing Mastroianni to cross home for a 2-1 Bisons lead.
The Chiefs retook the advantage in their next turn at bat. Destin Hood started the inning with an infield single to bring up Brian Goodwin. The Syracuse center fielder followed with a searing line drive over the right-field wall for a two-run home run, putting the Chiefs back in the lead. The home run was Goodwin's second of the season.
Solano supplied the offense in the sixth. With two outs and the bases clear, he smashed his team-leading eighth home run over the left-center field fence, giving Syracuse a 4-2 lead.
The Chiefs' pitching finished the job. After Laffey threw five-and-one-third innings, allowing two runs (one earned), left-hander Zach Jackson finished off a scoreless sixth. Ryan Mattheus retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, and Mike Gonzalez sealed the win with a perfect ninth.
Syracuse heads home to begin a four-game series with Indianapolis on Tuesday night at 7:00. Chiefs right-hander Taylor Hill, who sports the International League's second-best ERA at 1.57, will oppose Indians right-hander Jake Brigham.