The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost 5-2 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday evening at Alliance Bank Stadium. Former Chief Erik Kratz drove in all five of the IronPigs' runs, including a ground slam.
Lehigh Valley (36-27) scored four runs in the top of the first inning before Chiefs starter John Lannan could record an out. The first three batters in the IronPigs lineup - Michael Spidale, Kevin Frandsen, and Domonic Brown - each singled to load the bases for Kratz. The catcher took advantage of the situation with a grand slam down the left-field line to put the visitors up 4-0.
The Chiefs trimmed their deficit to three runs in the home half of the first after Corey Brown drew a leadoff walk and Mark Teahen drove him home with a double to the gap in right-center field. The RBI made the score 4-1 and upped the first baseman's team-leading total on the season to 41.
Kratz and the IronPigs struck a second time against Lannan with the bases full in the fourth. Again, Spidale, Frandsen, and Brown strung together consecutive singles. This time, rather than crank another grand slam, Kratz simply hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Spidale and put Lehigh Valley back up by four runs at 5-1.
Syracuse (31-33) pulled to within three for a second time in the sixth, with Teahen again in the mix. He singled to right to start the frame and came around to score after Jason Michaels and Seth Bynum both produced two-out singles. Byrum's run-scoring hit cut Lehigh Valley's lead to 5-2.
Relievers Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Ryan Perry came on in relief of Lannan and didn't allow a run over four innings. Syracuse's offense, though, couldn't mount a comeback, as it left 10 runners on base, including a bases-loaded spot in the sixth.
The Chiefs and IronPigs meet again at Alliance Bank Stadium for the third of four games on Monday night at 7:00. Syracuse is slated to send out Yunesky Maya to tangle with Lehigh Valley's Tyler Cloyd.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.