The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Louisville Bats, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander A.J. Cole threw seven innings of one-run ball to keep the Chiefs at least one game up in the International League North.
Louisville (59-63) struck first in the top of the first inning against right-hander A.J. Cole. Center fielder Jason Bourgeois doubled to deep right-center field and second baseman Ruben Gotay singled to left field to put runners on the corners for Thomas Neal. The first baseman grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Bourgeois scored on the play to put the Bats on the board, 1-0.
Syracuse (68-52) countered in the bottom of the first inning against left-hander Scott Diamond. Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss singled on a bunt to third and stole second two pitches later. Center fielder Jeff Kobernus doubled to left-center field to score Burriss and tie the game at one. Third baseman Brandon Laird followed with a single to left field to score Kobernus and give Syracuse a 2-1 lead.
The Chiefs opened up the floodgates in the bottom of the third inning against Diamond. First baseman Tyler Moore led off the inning with a single to left field. After a Eury Perez groundout, catcher Jhonatan Solano singled to center field to put runners on the corners. Will Rhymes, the second baseman, singled to right field to score Moore and left fielder Josh Johnson singled to right field to load the bases. After an A.J. Cole strikeout, Burriss singled over the glove of shortstop Rey Navarro to score Solano and Rhymes and increase the Chiefs' lead to 5-1.
The Chiefs begin a four-game set with the Charlotte Knights Monday at 7 p.m. Right-hander Taylor Hill will take the mound against right-hander Bobby Doran.