Syracuse, NY - The Bats trailed 8-0 entering the eighth inning and made it interesting with five late runs, but ultimately fell to the Syracuse Chiefs, 8-5, in the final game of the four-game series.
With LHP Matt Maloney on the mound in the finale, the Bats were in prime position to take three out of four from the Chiefs before returning to Louisville. Maloney entered the game with the fourth best ERA in the International League but gave up a two-out RBI double to Ian Desmond in the second, which gave the Chiefs a quick 1-0 lead.
A two-run double by Mike Morse in the third later put the Bats in a 3-0 hole.
Then the wheels came off in the fourth inning. Maloney started the inning by striking out Gustavo Molina and Shairon Martis. After a Jorge Padilla double, Pete Orr reached on a throwing error by third basemen Wes Bankston. The error by Bankston opened the door for a four-run fourth, which was highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of Corey Patterson.
Down 8-0 in the eighth, the Bats attempted to make a late rally. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kevin Barker delivered a grand slam over the right field wall. The home run was the 18th of the year for Barker.
In the ninth, the Bats cracked the scoreboard and had the tying run on first base but Darnell McDonald grounded out to third to end the game.
Maloney (7-7, 2.66) took the loss for the Bats. He only lasted 4.0 innings, giving up 11 hits, eight runs, only three of which were earned, while striking out three and walking one.
Shairon Martis (3-1, 4.68) got the win, pitching 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three.
The Bats return home tomorrow night for an eight-game homestand, starting off with the Toledo Mud Hens. First pitch tomorrow night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. LHP Ben Jukich (7-4, 4.35) gets the start for the Bats and will be opposed by RHP Chris Lambert (5-7, 3.74).