The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost 9-6 to the Columbus Clippers on Friday night. With Syracuse ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning, designated hitter Jared Goedert launched a grand slam to put Columbus ahead by three runs, and the Clippers never trailed from there. Despite the loss, outfielder Corey Brown set a new franchise record by hitting a home run in his fifth straight game.
Columbus (22-25) took all of one pitch to score on Friday, with center fielder Jason Donald launching John Lannan's first pitch over the center field wall for a solo home run. The homer was Donald's first in nine Triple-A games this season.
But Syracuse (23-25) would retaliate in the second inning. After a Jhonatan Solano single, Brett Carroll laced a run-scoring double down the line against Clippers left-hander David Huff. Two batters later, Seth Bynum's groundout scored Carroll to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.
Syracuse would increase its lead in the fourth inning with a solo home run from Carroll, his second with the Chiefs and first at Alliance Bank Stadium. However, Huff escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam by striking out Brown and getting Jarrett Hoffpauir to ground out. That followed a third inning where Huff stranded Brown on third after a leadoff triple.
Lannan settled down after the leadoff home run, retiring 14 of the next 16 hitters, but the left-hander ran into trouble in the sixth inning. Shortstop Gregorio Petit led off the frame by lining a solo home run over the manual scoreboard in right-center field, slicing the lead to 3-2. Donald and Cord Phelps followed with singles, and Lonnie Chisenhall reached on a bunt single to load the bases and end Lannan's night.
Right-hander Hassan Pena entered with nobody out and retired Matt LaPorta on a line drive to shortstop, before getting ahead on Goedert with a 1-2 count. But the Clippers' designated hitter smoked a Pena fastball over the right field fence, emptying the bases to give Columbus a 6-3 lead.
Columbus claimed two more runs off of Pena in the seventh. Catcher Matt Pagnozzi hit Columbus's fourth home run of the game, with a leadoff shot to center field in the inning. Four batters later, Chisenhall doubled in Phelps, putting the Clippers ahead by an 8-3 score.
But Syracuse clawed back, starting with a rally against Scott Barnes in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Mark Teahen reached on an error, Xavier Paul walked, and Solano singled to load the bases. Carroll followed with a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 8-4.
In the eighth inning, Josh Johnson reached on an infield single with one out against right-hander Frank Herrmann. Brown then drilled the first pitch of his at-bat off of the batter's eye to the right of straightaway center field to set the franchise record with a home run in his fifth straight game. The long ball, Brown's team-leading 12th of the season, snapped a tie held by seven other players throughout Syracuse's history. It also sliced the Columbus lead to 8-6.
However, the Clippers tacked on a ninth-inning run when Pagnozzi scored on an Atahualpa Severino wild pitch. Chris Ray would then pitch the ninth and shut down the Chiefs to earn the save.
Syracuse and Columbus will play the third game of their four-game series on Saturday night at 7:00. Chiefs right-hander Yunesky Maya is scheduled to pitch against Clippers right-hander Corey Kluber.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.