The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, and the Charlotte Knights played to a 6-6 tie through the eighth inning Friday at Alliance Bank Stadium before heavy rainfall cut the game short. The remainder of the game will be played Saturday at 6pm followed by the teams' scheduled nine-inning contest.
The Chiefs started the scoring with a bang in the second inning. Chris Marrero and Jesus Flores opened the frame with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on Corey Brown's sacrifice bunt. Jeff Frazier then stepped to the plate and ripped a home run just over the leftfield wall to give Syracuse an early 3-0 lead.
Chiefs' lefty Tommy Milone baffled Charlotte's batters through the first three innings. He struck out five Knights in that span and allowed just one baserunner on a Lastings Milledge single in the second.
But Charlotte's offense awakened in the fourth. Jim Gallagher's double to the rightfield corner started the frame. Two batters later, Jordan Danks hit a soft line drive to left that brought home Gallagher. Milledge continued the run with an RBI triple that bounced past Syracuse centerfielder Brown to the wall. Gookie Dawkins followed with a single that knotted the game at 3-3.
The Knights took the lead in the following inning. Alejandro De Aza crushed a one-out triple to the rightfield corner and Gallagher's RBI single in the next at-bat put Charlotte in front.
Milone returned to form after that score, getting seven straight outs before Lee Hyde took over in relief. The Chiefs' starter pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing seven hits and four runs with six strikeouts and a walk.
Syracuse stormed back in front in the seventh as the rain started to come down. Matt Antonelli hit a one-out single to start the rally. He advanced to second when Gregor Blanco hit a tapper back to the mound for the second out. Tug Hulett ripped a double to rightfield to knot the game at 4-4, followed by Jesus Valdez' double that put the Chiefs in front. Two wild pitches by Charlotte reliever Miguel Socolovich eventually scored Valdez to extend Syracuse's lead to 6-4.
The rain really started to pour to start the eighth, but the Knights managed to pull even before the umpires called the game. Chiefs' reliever Jeff Mandel grazed leadoff batter Dayan Viciedo with a pitch to put him on first. Tyler Flowers then whacked a home run to left centerfield through the downpour that tied the game at 6-6. Four pitches into the next at-bat, the weather forced the teams back to their clubhouses.
After the final innings of tonight's game are played, Craig Stammen will take the mound for Syracuse against Charlotte righty Matt Zaleski.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.