The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost twice to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Thursday night at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Chiefs dropped the opener, 3-0, and lost the nightcap, 1-0, in 14 innings.
The night's first game completed a game that was suspended after four innings because of rain on April 10th. Two fourth-inning runs gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead back in April, and Scranton quickly stretched that lead in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Jack Cust legged out a double on a slowly-hit ground ball that snuck into right field. Ronnier Mustelier followed with another double, down the left-field line, to score Cust and give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
That fifth-inning run would be the only run to score in game one. Chiefs starter Mitch Atkins allowed just one more hit the rest of the way. Atkins, who also pitched the game's first four innings back in April, was credited with a complete game. He allowed three runs and five hits.
Meanwhile Syracuse (44-48) put runners on first and second twice against Yankees reliever Nelson Figueroa and again against Cory Wade in the eighth, but could not score. Figueroa earned his seventh win of the season. Wade picked up his first save.
Runs were at a premium again in game two. Neither team could score in the game's seven scheduled innings. In fact, Syracuse starter Jeff Mandel took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, before Ramiro Pena singled with two outs. Meanwhile, Scranton starter Adam Warren allowed just three hits in his seven innings of work.
Pat Lehman and Hassan Pena combined to toss two scoreless innings, while Warren retired the Chiefs in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game to extra innings.
The stellar pitching continued in extra innings. Both bullpens combined to keep the game scoreless until the 14th inning, highlighted by three and one-third innings from Erik Arnesen for the Chiefs.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (50-43) finally pushed across a run in the top of the 14th inning. Mustelier worked a leadoff walk and moved to third on a one-out single from Brandon Laird. Austin Bibens-Dirkx then plunked Cole Garner to load the bases with one out. Bibens-Dirkx then walked Pena to bring home Mustelier for the game's only run.
Jesus Valdez led off a controversial bottom of the 14th with a single up the middle. Brett Carroll then bunted and appeared to reach safely when the throw from pitcher Chase Whitley bounced off his helmet and into right field. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Carroll was called out for being out of the baseline, Valdez was sent back to first, and the next two Chiefs were retired to end the game.
The Chiefs and Yankees meet again Friday night at 7:00 at Alliance Bank Stadium. Tanner Roark is scheduled to pitch for Syracuse. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will counter with Ramon Ortiz.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.