The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Gwinnett Braves, 8-4, on Wednesday night from Coolray Field. With the win, the Chiefs took three out of four games from the Braves and improved to a season-high 18 games over .500.
Gwinnett (43-50) struck first with three doubles in the bottom of the first inning off Syracuse right-hander A.J. Cole. Jose Constanza led off with a double to left field. Philip Gosselin followed with a double to left field to score Constanza and give the Braves a 1-0 lead. After a Tyler Pastornicky strikeout, Joey Terdoslavich doubled to left field, and Gosselin scored for a 2-0 Gwinnett advantage.
Syracuse (55-37) tied the game in the third inning off Gwinnett starter Aaron Northcraft. With one out, Emmanuel Burriss reached on a bunt single. Burriss scored from first base on a Jeff Kobernus double to left field to cut the Braves lead to one. Kobernus stole third base with Steven Souza Jr. at the plate, and Kobernus scored on a Souza, Jr. base hit to center field to tie the game, 2-2.
The Braves took back the lead with one swing of the bat in the fourth inning. Terdoslavich homered over the center-field wall to give Gwinnett a 3-2 lead.
The Chiefs came right back with three runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Emmanuel Burriss was hit by a pitch. Burriss moved to third on a Kobernus single and scored on a Souza, Jr. sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game at three. With Tyler Moore batting, Kobernus stole second base and scored on a Moore base hit to left field for Syracuse's first lead of the game, 4-3. Moore advanced to second base on the throw home. Zach Walters then singled to score Moore and give the Chiefs a 5-3 lead.
Gwinnett cut the Syracuse lead to one with a swift swing of the bat in the sixth. Edward Salcedo blasted the Braves' second home run of the night, this one over the left-field fence, to cut the deficit to one, 5-4.
Syracuse extended its lead in the sixth, with its third multi-run inning of the game. Sandy Leon led the inning off with a double to right field off Gwinnett reliever Carlos Fisher. Will Rhymes then worked a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Leon advanced to third and Rhymes to second on a Cole sacrifice bunt. Burriss then singled to score Leon and move Rhymes to third for a 6-4 Chiefs lead. Rhymes scored when Gosselin, the Gwinnett third baseman, mishandled a ball hit by Kobernus to extend the Syracuse lead to three.
The Chiefs added an insurance run in the ninth inning off right-hander James Hoyt. With one out, Souza, Jr. singled. After a Moore fly out, Souza advanced to third on a Walters double. Hoyt walked Laird to load the bases, and Leon worked a bases-loaded walk to score Souza for an 8-4 Syracuse lead.
Syracuse begins a four-game series in Charlotte against the Knights on Thursday night before the All-Star break begins on Monday. Right-hander Blake Treinen takes the mound for the Chiefs against Knights right-hander Shawn Hill. First pitch is set for 7:05 from BB&T Ballpark.