The Syracuse Chiefs (33-43), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, tallied 15 hits and starter Craig Stammen dealt nine strikeouts in an 8-5 win over the Indianapolis Indians (40-40) Tuesday at Alliance Bank Stadium. Nine different players tallied at least one hit as the Chiefs overcame an first-inning deficit to get the win.
The Indians looked like they would run away with the game early in the first. Anthony Norman led off with a double followed by a Pedro Ciriaco single. John Bowker then crushed a three-run homer well over the rightfield fence to give Indianapolis a 3-0 lead.
Matt Hague continued the run with a double in the next at-bat, but Stammen quickly turned things around. He only gave up a walk the rest of the inning to limit the damage and came back strong in the second by striking out the side in order.
The pitcher then provided some run support for himself in the bottom of the frame. He stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and hit a slow tapper down the third base line. Indians third baseman Andy Marte came up on the grounder but had no play as Jeff Frazier raced home to pull Syracuse within 3-1.
The Chiefs then stormed in front in the third thanks to some help from Indians starter Brian Burres. He sat down the first two batters in the frame but walked Chris Marrero in the next at-bat. Jesus Flores took advantage by launching an RBI-double off the top of the leftfield wall. Burres then walked Frazier to put runners on first and second, setting up Seth Bynum's double to the warning track in right that put Syracuse up 4-3.
The Chiefs would add to that lead in the fourth after Stammen tallied three more strikeouts in the fourth. The Syracuse righty tallied another single down the third base line to start the inning followed by a Steve Lombardozzi bloop single to left. With Matt Antonelli at the plate, Burres again gave the Chiefs some help with two wild pitches that brought Stammen around to score. Marrero then lobbed a single to rightfield that brought home Lombardozzi to give Syracuse a 6-3 lead.
But Indianapolis inched closer in the fifth and sixth. Ciriaco led off the fifth with a double just inside the third base bag. Marrero then dropped a grounder at first that put runners at the corners. In the next at-bat, Hague lofted a single to center that pulled the Indians within 6-4.
Stammen retired the next three batters to end the inning before being pulled after giving up a single and sacrifice bunt in the sixth. He dealt five and a third innings giving up nine hits and five runs with nine strikeouts.
Atahualpa Severino entered in relief but couldn't keep the Indians off the board. Norman blasted a fly ball to the warning track in right allowing Hernandez to tag and move to third. Ciriaco then hit a high chopper to shortstop but Bynum couldn't make the barehand play as Indianapolis pulled within one.
Zech Zinicola then stepped to the mound for the Chiefs in the seventh and baffled the Indians in his first appearance with Syracuse. He didn't give up a hit through his two-inning performance and struck out three batters.
The Chiefs cushioned the lead in the eighth after Indianapolis reliever Chris Leroux exited the game. Syracuse tallied five singles off righty Jared Hughes to add two runs and make the score 8-5. Josh Wilkie then shut down any Indianapolis comeback hopes by retiring three-straight batters in the ninth to end the game.
The teams will battle again Wednesday at 7:00 at Alliance Bank Stadium. Chiefs righty Yunesky Maya will take the mound against Indians righty Sean Gallagher.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.