Syracuse, NY --- Dayron Varona dropped a two-out flyball in the last of the ninth to allow the winning run to score as the Syracuse Chiefs accepted a 5-4 win over the Durham Bulls on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium.
One out heroics by JP Arencibia in the top of the ninth inning had just tied the game at 4-4 thanks to a two-run homer to left field against Chiefs closer Rafael Martin (W, 2-3). But after a two-out walk to Matt Skole in the bottom half, Christopher Bostick hit a flyball into right which glanced off of Varona's glove and roll to the base of the wall to permit Skole to score the winning run.
The game began with a bang as Jaff Decker smoked a home run to right field into the trees beyond right field. The Chiefs tied the game with a run in the fourth as three passed balls on deliveries from knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa got away to allow the game to be tied.
Johnny Field delivered a sacrifice fly in the fifth as the Bulls (40-53) reclaimed the lead 2-1.
The Chiefs capitalized in the last of the sixth on a pair of walks by reliever Parker Markel, converting to runs thanks to singles by Pedro Severino and Zach Collier.
In the seventh, Skole homered against Dana Eveland for a 4-2 lead.
Gamboa worked five innings, permitting two hits and one unearned run. Markel allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings, with Eveland surrendering Skole's homer during his 1 1/3 innings. Casey Coleman (L, 0-1) absorbed the loss with the unearned run in the ninth.
Jacob Faria starts the second game of the four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 PM ET.