The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, saw another late lead slip away in an 8-2 loss to the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night. Gwinnett tied the game in the seventh inning when Matt Young singled off Chiefs reliever Lee Hyde, and the Braves scored six runs in the eighth off Syracuse righty Hassan Pena. Julio Lugo's RBI single provided the eventual game-winning run, with five more hits and five more runs following. The loss was Syracuse's third straight when leading in the seventh inning or later.
Syracuse (27-41) appeared in trouble early against Gwinnett righty Julio Teheran, who entered with the International League's second best ERA at 1.78. Teheran retired the first ten Chiefs he faced and got some help from his offense in the first inning. With one out, right fielder Stefan Gartrell singled in Jose Costanza to give Gwinnett (37-33) a 1-0 lead.
But the Chiefs would tie the game at 1 in the fourth. Matt Antonelli doubled with one out and scored two batters later on a Chris Marrero RBI single. Three innings later, Syracuse took a 2-1 lead. Marrero and Tug Hulett singled, putting runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Jesus Flores then reached on a fielder's choice when shortstop Brandon Hicks threw away a potential double play ground ball. Marrero scored to put the Chiefs ahead.
Gwinnett would tie in the seventh with an unusual start to its rally. With two outs, Teheran stayed in to bat and worked a walk against Syracuse starter Ross Detwiler. Hyde then walked Costanza and served up a 2-0 base hit to Young, scoring Teheran.
In the eighth, the Braves blew the game open against Pena. With one out, Brandon Hicks doubled to deep center field and scored when Julio Lugo lined a single to left field. Ruben Gotay then laced the next pitch for an RBI triple to right field, giving the Braves a 4-2 lead. J.C. Boscan followed with a double, and after an out, Constanza singled in Boscan. Young's second straight single spelled the end for Pena in a 6-2 game, and Ryan Tatusko relieved him. Stefan Gartrell then cracked a two-run double to deep center field to end the scoring.
Detwiler tossed another strong start despite the loss. The Syracuse lefthander allowed just three hits and four walks in six and two-thirds innings of two-run ball, throwing 114 pitches.
The Chiefs and Braves play the second of their four-game series Tuesday night at 7:05. Righthander J.D. Martin is scheduled to start for Syracuse.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.