The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost 5-3 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday afternoon. IronPigs starter Jason Marquis threw six innings of two-hit, two-run ball, leading Lehigh Valley to even the season series with Syracuse at seven games apiece.
Lehigh Valley (62-74) opened the scoring against right-hander Omar Poveda in the second inning. Cam Perkins started the frame with a bunt single. Two batters later, second baseman Nate Spears launched a triple to the right-center-field gap, scoring Perkins for a 1-0 lead. Marquis followed by grounding an RBI single past a drawn-in infield to right field, upping the IronPigs' lead to two runs.
Syracuse (77-58) tied the game against Marquis in the fourth. Emmanuel Burriss, hitting third for the first time in his professional career, started the inning with a walk. Third baseman Brandon Laird followed with a two-run home run tucked inside the foul pole in left field, evening the score at two apiece. The home run was Laird's 16th of the season, the most of any active Chiefs player.
The IronPigs grabbed the lead back in the fifth. With one out, Maikel Franco blooped a single to center field that Jeff Kobernus lost in the sun. Rehabbing first baseman John Mayberry, Jr. followed with a pop-up single down the right-field line, advancing Franco to second base. Right-hander Ryan Mattheus then entered and retired Russ Canzler on a groundout. Perkins, however, reached on an infield single to shortstop when Greg Dobbs couldn't scoop Burriss' throw, with Franco scoring for a 3-2 Lehigh Valley lead.
Canzler upped the IronPigs' advantage in the seventh. With two outs, he launched a solo home run over the left-field wall off of Syracuse left-hander Xavier Cedeño, giving Lehigh Valley a 4-2 lead. Pinch-hitter Tyler Henson added some further insurance in the eighth, hitting a solo homer to right field with one out off of Chiefs right-hander Manny Delcarmen.
Syracuse rallied in the ninth against closer Luis Garcia. With one out and Burriss on second base, Destin Hood smashed a ground-rule double to left-center field, slicing the lead to 5-3. Garcia, however, recovered to strike out Greg Dobbs and induce a groundout from Sandy Leon.
Syracuse and Lehigh Valley resume their series on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Chiefs right-hander A.J. Cole is scheduled to pitch against IronPigs right-hander Brad Lincoln.