Rochester, N.Y. - The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washignton Nationals, were eliminated from playoff contention with an 8-2 loss at the hands of the Rochester Red Wings on Saturday night at Frontier Field. Josh Wilkie gave up six runs in the seventh inning while recording just one out that allowed Rochester to take the lead for good.
Syracuse (75-66) took the lead in the third inning on an RBI single from Michael Martinez. He scored Jamie Burke and it gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third though, Rochester responded.
The Red Wings (49-93) scored a run on a single and an error with two outs. With catcher Danny Lehmann at second base after a double, Brian Dinkelman grounded to second, and Seth Bynum's throw to first base was dropped by Jason Botts. Lehmann scored from second on the play to tie the game 1-1.
Leading off the seventh inning, Pete Orr hit a home run that snuck over the right field wall to put Syracuse in the lead 2-1. It was the 11th home run of the year for Orr and the second in as many nights for a Chief infielder after Seth Bynum hit one on Friday night.
The bottom of the seventh proved to be the downfall for Syracuse. After Collin Balester pitched a scoreless sixth, Josh Wilkie came on for the seventh. Matt Macri grounded out to third to begin the inning, but that would be only batter he would retire. Lehmann then doubled, and Brandon Roberts singled to put runners at first and third.Brendan Harris was hit by a pitch, and then Brian Dinkelman hit a double down the left field line that allowed all three runners to score and give Rochester a 4-2 lead.
Wilkie then hit Brock Peterson by a pitch. Following that, Dustin Martin homered to deep center field to give the Red Wings a 7-2 lead. Wilkie was pulled after the home run and Jeff Mandel came on to get the final two outs of the inning. In the 8th, Brendan Harris picked up an RBI on a groundout to make it 8-2 in favor of Rochester.
Because both Syracuse and Wild Card leader Louisville both lost on Saturday, the Chiefs are no longer capable of winning the Wild Card. Louisville holds a three game lead with just two games remaining.
On Sunday the Chiefs will begin their final series of the year. Against the Pawtucket Red Sox, Syracuse will send Shairon Martis (8-7, 4.04) to the mound against lefty Fabio Castro (7-9, 4.76) for Pawtucket. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.