The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, fell to the Buffalo Bisons, 9-8, in 14 innings Thursday night in Syracuse. Matt Tuiasosopo's run-scoring single in the top of the 14th inning dealt the Chiefs a loss in their longest game of the season.
Buffalo (43-45) got some separation in the top of the second inning. Brad Emaus reached on a one-out single and moved to second when Raul Reyes walked. Lucas May knocked Emaus home with a double that bounced over the third-base bag and down the left-field line. Reyes scored the second Buffalo run of the inning when he scored from third on a wild pitch by Chiefs starter Mitch Atkins. A couple batters later, Josh Rodriguez put the Bisons up 3-0 with a line-drive single that scored May. Next up, Adam Loewen appeared to break the game wide open with a three-run home run that rattled off the back wall of the Family Park in right field to give Buffalo a 6-0 lead.
The Bisons finished Atkins's night off with an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Matt den Dekker reached on an error by second baseman Jim Negrych and scored on a single by May to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead.
Erik Arnesen relieved Atkins and threw three scoreless innings to keep the Chiefs in the game.
The Chiefs started to whittle their way back into the game in the bottom of the third. Carlos Maldonado led off the inning with Syracuse's first hit of the night. He moved to second when Jesus Valdez walked. Then, pinch-hitter Zach Duke loaded the bases with a bunt and a throwing error by the catcher May. Corey Brown and Jarrett Hoffpauir followed with consecutive sacrifice flies to score Maldonado and Valdez and bring the Chiefs to within five.
Valdez brought Syracuse (44-43) even closer in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Brett Carroll, Carlos Rivero, and Maldonado reached to load the bases, Valdez blasted a 2-0 pitch from Dylan Owen over the left-field wall for a grand slam to make the score 7-6 Buffalo.
The Chiefs used the long ball again to tie the game at seven in the bottom of the fifth inning. Maldonado drove Manny Acosta's pitch out of the yard for his third homer of the season.
Buffalo reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Reliever Atahualpa Severino surrendered a solo home run to Bisons cleanup hitter Josh Satin that put Buffalo up 8-7.
But the ever-resilient Chiefs came back again in the bottom of the inning. Capitalizing on two walks from Buffalo reliever Elvin Ramirez and a single from Mark Teahen, Syracuse tied the game at eight when Negrych scored as Rivero bounced into a double play.
Buffalo threatened to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning, but Hassan Pena escaped a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout of Tuiasosopo.
The Chiefs went down in order in the bottom of the frame, sending the game to extra innings.
Syracuse threatened with runners in scoring position in both the 10th and 12th innings but was unable to push any runs across against the Buffalo bullpen.
The Bisons finally broke through in the top of the 14th inning as Tuiasosopo singled through the hole on the left side of the Chiefs' infield, scoring Eamus to put Buffalo up 9-8.
Jeremy Hefner pitched a scoreless bottom of the 14th to earn the win for Buffalo.
The Chiefs and Bisons wrap up their three-game set Friday night at Alliance Bank Stadium at 7:00. Left-hander John Lannan is slated to start for Syracuse. Buffalo will counter with right-hander Jeurys Familia.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.