The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, returned to the win column on Tuesday afternoon with a 6-2 victory over the Louisville Bats. Syracuse clubbed 11 hits in the victory, earning its first win in five games.
In the third inning, shortstop Josh Johnson put Syracuse (24-28) on the board after some production from the bottom of the Chiefs' lineup. Center fielder J.R. Higley reached on his first Triple-A hit, and catcher Jeff Howell followed with a single. After starting pitcher Zach Duke bunted the runners over, Johnson lined a two-run single to center field, putting the Chiefs on the board.
Syracuse extended its lead to 3-0 on the fourth on a Carlos Rivero sacrifice fly - one of his two sac flies in the game. Mark Teahen, who had led off the inning with a single, scored on the play.
Meanwhile, Duke worked into and out of trouble against Louisville (17-36), as the Bats collected 10 hits in six innings against the left-hander. But Duke allowed just one run, with Joey Gathright's two-out single in the fifth scoring Kristopher Negron to cut the Syracuse lead to 3-1.
The teams traded runs in the seventh, with pinch-hitter Jarrett Hoffpauir singling in a run for Syracuse and Gathright singling home a run for Louisville against Josh Wilkie. Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx would enter in relief and get the final two outs of the inning with a pair of runners on base.
The Chiefs then put the game out of reach in the eighth inning. Brett Carroll doubled in Teahen and later scored on a Rivero sacrifice fly.
Syracuse and Louisville will duel in the third game of a four-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05. Chiefs left-hander John Lannan and Bats right-hander Brett Tomko are the scheduled starters.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.