The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost for just the second time in seven games on Sunday afternoon. The Charlotte Knights scored four runs in the third inning en route to a 5-1 win.
After two scoreless innings, Charlotte (13-11) got on the board in the third against Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya. Ozzie Martinez singled through the hole on the left side of the Chiefs' infield to start the Knights' rally and Tyler Kuhn doubled down the right field line. Greg Golson then brought them both home with a ground ball single through the drawn-in infield to make the score 2-0. Two batters later, Dan Johnson blasted his third homer in two games to put Charlotte up 4-0.
The Knights tacked on an insurance run in the sixth courtesy of the long ball. Hector Gimenez lined the second pitch of the frame over the fence just inside the foul pole down the right field line to make the score 5-0.
That was more than enough run support for Knights starter Matt Zaleski. In his first Triple-A start of the year, the righty was brilliant through five innings, allowing just one hit.
The first blip on Zaleski's radar came in the bottom of the sixth. Carlos Rivero crushed a fastball over the left field wall for his first Syracuse home run.
Syracuse (8-15) pushed forward again in the bottom of the seventh when Jason Michaels, Brett Carroll, and Jarrett Hoffpauir all singled with two outs. Hoffpauir's single drove Michaels home to make the score 5-2.
The Chiefs were unable to muster any runs against Knights reliever Deunte Heath in either the eighth or the ninth inning. Heath picked up his first save of the year.
Zaleski was lifted after seven innings. He gave up two runs on five hits to pick up the win.
Meanwhile, Maya was tagged with his third loss of the season after allowing five runs on eight hits in seven innings.
The Chiefs and Knights wrap up a four-game series Monday night at 6:00 at Alliance Bank Stadium. Lefty John Lannan is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season for Syracuse.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.