The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 3-2, on Monday night in Syracuse. The win was the sixth in eight games for the Chiefs, who had previously lost 14 of 17 games.
Syracuse (53-57) got on the board first against Lehigh Valley's Jonathan Pettibone, who was making his Triple-A debut. Eury Perez led off the bottom of the first with a base hit and stole second base. Then, Jayson Werth crushed a double to deep right-center field to drive home Perez and give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
Lehigh Valley (59-52) responded to score its only two runs of the night, off Chiefs starter Zach Duke, in the top of the second inning. Tuffy Gosewisch reached on an error by shortstop Josh Johnson with one out and Andres Blanco followed with a walk to put runners on first and second base. After Pettibone moved them to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, Michael Martinez cleared the bases with a two-run triple that split that gap in right-center field. Martinez's second triple of the year put Lehigh Valley up 2-1.
The early runs gave way to a good pitchers' duel between Duke and Pettibone as the team's would swap zeroes for the next three innings. Finally, though, the Chiefs broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game. Perez picked up his second Triple-A walk to start the frame and moved to second on a groundout by Werth. Carlos Rivero followed with a double that brought home Perez to tie the game at two. That RBI was Rivero's 50th of the season.
Duke exited the game for the Chiefs after allowing two unearned runs on six hits in six innings. He was followed by Mike MacDougal, who pitched a perfect top of the seventh inning in his 2012 Syracuse debut.
The Chiefs then took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning. Werth worked a one-out walk and moved to third on Chad Tracy's single. Rivero followed by hitting an RBI fielder's choice on a grounder to second base. Werth's fouth run in seven games with the Chiefs put Syracuse up 3-2.
Syracuse's bullpen took it from there as Erik Arnesen worked a perfect eighth inning and Christian Garcia followed with a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save of the year.
The Chiefs and IronPigs wrap up their five-game set with a noon matinee Tuesday at Alliance Bank Stadium. Austin Bibens-Dirkx is scheduled to start for Syracuse. Lehigh Valley will counter with Tom Cochran.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.