The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, outlasted the Gwinnett Braves, 10-6, on Tuesday night at Alliance Bank Stadium. With the win, the Chiefs extended their season-high win streak to eight games and wrapped up their 20-game homestand with a 14-6 record.
Syracuse (40-37) took control of the game in the fifth inning when it broke open a 5-5 contest with four runs. Chris Marrero led off the fateful fifth with a single to center field. He moved to second base on a single to right by Brett Carroll, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games. The Chiefs then received a favor when Gwinnett starting pitcher Eric Junge made an error trying to field a Jim Negrych sacrifice bunt. Junge's throw to third went awry, which allowed both Marrero and Carroll to score and gave Syracuse a 7-5 lead.
Junge came out of the game after the play and his replacement, D.J. Carrasco, gave up an RBI single to Koyie Hill. One out later, Zach Duke, the Chiefs' nine-win starting pitcher, pinch-hit and singled to right field. Duke's liner moved Negrych to third base. Corey Brown's groundout proceeded to score Negrych and the Chiefs led 9-5 after five.
Back in the first inning, Gwinnett (37-42) took a 2-0 lead against Syracuse starter Mitch Atkins. Jose Constanza started the game with a single and advanced to second base when the game's second batter, Luis Durango, walked. Tyler Pastornicky singled up the middle to plate Constanza and put the visitors up 1-0. Durango later came in on a groundout by Felix Pie.
The Braves' lead didn't last long, however. Brown led off the bottom of the first for the Chiefs with a walk. That set the stage for Erik Komatsu to knock his second home run in as many nights, as the left fielder tied the game, 2-2. Syracuse then took the lead, 3-2, after Mark Teahen doubled and and scored on a Negrych single with two outs.
After Gwinnett tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the second courtesy of Durango's sacrifice fly to drive in J.C. Boscan, the Chiefs took the lead right back. With two outs and no one on base, Brown singled (pushing his hitting streak to 13 contests), Komatsu doubled, Teahen walked, and Marrero brought home a pair with an opposite-field single.
Gwinnett got a run back in the third when Ernesto Mejia crushed a home run that made it 5-4. The Braves then tied the game, 5-5, in the top of the fifth. Mejia started the rally with a double. He reached third on a balk by Atkins and tied the game thanks to Pie's sacrifice fly.
Following the Chiefs' four-run fifth, the bats on both sides were silent for two innings. In the eighth, the Braves pushed across one run against Jeff Mandel, who threw three innings in relief of Atkins. Lance Zawadski's run-scoring infield single cut the Chiefs' lead to 9-6. But with the tying runs on base, Mandel retired Constanza on a fly out to center field.
Following the script of the early innings, Syracuse scored a run in response to Gwinnett in the bottom of the eighth to go back up by four, 10-6. Akin to the first frame, Negrych plated Teahen, who had walked, from second with a single.
In the ninth, right-hander Christian Garcia came out of the bullpen to record the final three outs, as the Chiefs concluded their 20-game homestand with their eighth straight victory.
The Chiefs now go on the road for the first time since the beginning of June and begin a four-game series at the Durham Bulls on Tuesday night at 7:00. Syracuse will send John Lannan to the bump against Durham's Matt Torra.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.