The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, fell 2-1 on Wednesday night to the Louisville Bats. Syracuse dropped its fourth straight game despite masterful performances from Tommy Milone and Matt Antonelli. Milone allowed just five hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out nine while walking none. The lefthander's nine strikeouts tied him with Rochester's Kyle Gibson and Durham's Alex Torres for the International League lead. Antonelli collected four hits in five at-bats for the Chiefs' second four-hit game of the season.
Syracuse (22-28) struck first thanks to Antonelli. With one out in the first, the third baseman drove Daryl Thompson's 2-1 pitch over the left field for his first Syracuse home run. Antonelli finished the day with a .389 average after a home run, three singles, and a sacrifice bunt.
Louisville (30-23) would answer in the third inning. Shortstop Zack Cozart doubled with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on left fielder Yonder Alonso's ground ball. Alonso was three for four, with his only out resulting in an RBI.
The Bats broke the tie in the sixth inning thanks in part to Alonso. He tripled with one out and scored on a fielder's choice ground ball by third baseman Juan Francisco. Milone survived a Devin Mesoraco double to escape the inning, and finished his seven frames by striking out two in the next inning.
The Chiefs collected at least one hit in every inning and strung together several rallies in the late innings. In the sixth inning, Gregor Blanco lined out to shortstop with runners on second and third. In the eighth, Jesus Valdez doubled to lead off the inning. After Chris McConnell was hit by a pitch with two outs and the runners advanced on a wild pitch, pinch-hitter Michael Aubrey grounded out to second base.
Syracuse's final rally came in the ninth inning. Blanco reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on an Antonelli sacrifice. Tug Hulett then drew a walk to put two runners on base, but Chris Marrero flied out to right field and Jesus Valdez grounded out to shortstop against Bats reliever Nick Christiani.
Syracuse and Louisville finish their four-game series Thursday night at 7:05. Syracuse's Craig Stammen and Louisville's Edinson Volquez will take the hill in a matchup of righthanders with major league experience.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.