The Syracuse Chiefs (38-50), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost their third straight game Sunday, falling 5-2 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (53-37) at Alliance Bank Stadium. The IronPigs tallied 14 hits for the second straight game against the Chiefs.
Lehigh Valley took an early lead in an eventful first inning. Rich Thompson started the frame with a first pitch single. Chad Gaudin then struck out Josh Barfield, but with Delwyn Young at the plate, his pickoff attempt to first got away from Chris Marrero. Thompson stormed around second on Gaudin's error and Marrero's throw over to third skipped away from Tug Hulett. The two errors brought Thompson home for the early IronPigs lead.
Young's at-bat continued with the 1-0 lead, and the rightfielder cracked a double to left field. He advanced to third on a Brandon Moss groundout before scoring on a Gaudin wild pitch.
The Chiefs finally came up to the plate down 2-0 but didn't take long to cut into the lead. Matt Antonelli crushed a one-out home run over the left field fence to pull Syracuse within 2-1 just two batters in. The Chiefs extended the inning with two singles and a walk off Lehigh Valley starter Tyson Brummett, but Jhonatan Solano grounded out to end the inning.
Gaudin worked through the next two innings, using two double plays to keep Syracuse within one. The IronPigs extended that lead, though, in the fourth. Moss tagged a single up the middle and Gaudin hit Erik Kratz with a pitch to put runners on second. Tagg Bozied then stepped up and blasted a triple off the warning track in right-center field, bringing home both runners to put Lehigh Valley up 4-1.
Gaudin recovered to end the inning on three straight strikeouts and his day ended after that. The righthander, making his second rehab start in Syracuse, finished four innings with the four earned runs off seven hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Brummett kept the Chiefs scoreless through his final four innings. He never faced more than four batters in an inning after the first, finishing with five innings pitched, four hits allowed, two walks and a strikeout.
Both bullpens took over to close out the game and shut down the offenses. Five Chiefs relievers gave up one run on seven hits in the final five innings. The only IronPigs score was unearned off a Chris Marrero error in the ninth.
But Lehigh Valley's bullpen matched the Chiefs production. A quartet of IronPigs relievers held Syracuse to the one run over the final four innings to close out the 5-2 win.
Syracuse has three days off for the All-Star break before starting a three-game set with the IronPigs in Lehigh Valley at 6:05. Chiefs lefty Tommy Milone and infielder Matt Antonelli will play in the All-Star game Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.