The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, recovered from a series-opening loss with a 5-3 win over the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday night. Right-hander Blake Treinen threw six sharp innings in his first Syracuse start since May 16th, leading the Chiefs to a half-game lead over Rochester in the International League North Division.
Syracuse (41-30) patiently grabbed the game's first run against Norfolk's Mike Wright in the second inning. Tyler Moore walked to lead off the inning, and two batters later, Brian Goodwin walked. After a Brandon Laird single loaded the bases, Will Rhymes worked an eight-pitch plate appearance culminating in a run-scoring walk to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Chiefs added two more runs. Emmanuel Burriss started the inning with a single on the 10th pitch of his at-bat, and Zach Walters followed with an RBI triple down the right-field line. Two batters later, Moore grounded out to third base, scoring Walters for a 3-0 lead.
Laird extended the lead in the fourth inning. On the seventh pitch of an at-bat with Wright, he smashed a slider into the Chiefs' bullpen in left-center field for a 4-0 Syracuse advantage. The home run was Laird's third of the year and first since May 19th.
Norfolk (29-43) finally got on the board against Treinen in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Ivan DeJesus singled and Brett Wallace doubled. Treinen then uncorked a wild pitch while throwing to Steve Clevenger, scoring DeJesus to cut the lead to 4-1. Clevenger followed a run-scoring single to center field to plate Wallace and slice the deficit to two.
Other than that stretch, Treinen was brilliant. He surrendered just six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out six. Treinen tossed 61 strikes in 77 pitches, threw first-pitch strikes to the first 13 batters he faced and tossed 16 consecutive strikes in one stretch between the second in fourth innings.
Syracuse piled on another run in the eighth against right-hander Tim Alderson. Burriss led off the inning with a walk, stole second base and scored on an RBI single from Walters.
The Tides would score one more in the ninth against Chiefs closer Warner Madrigal. Xavier Paul doubled with one out, Buck Britton singled and Steve Lombardozzi drove in Paul with a sacrifice fly. Jemile Weeks followed with a long fly ball to right-center field, but Steven Souza, Jr. tracked the ball down from center field, making the game-ending catch to preserve the win.
The Chiefs and Tides resume their series on Wednesday night at 7:05. Left-handers Aaron Laffey, for Syracuse, and Chris Jones, for Norfolk, are scheduled to face off.