The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, were outlasted in an offensive outburst 10-9 by the Charlotte Knights on Sunday afternoon. In a game that featured runs in ten of the seventeen half-innings, Gookie Dawkins' two-run home run in the seventh inning put Charlotte ahead for the final time. Syracuse loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before Anthony Carter struck out pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco to end the game. The Chiefs dropped to 27-40 and finished the season series with Charlotte (33-35) in a 4-4 tie.
Syracuse scored the game's first three runs thanks to center fielder Corey Brown, who collected the Chiefs' second multi-homer game of the year. Brown homered off of Matt Zaleski on the game's first pitch and then drove in two with a homer in the top of the third.
The Chiefs and Knights then alternated single runs for three straight half innings with Knights left fielder Alejandro De Aza, Chiefs left fielder Jeff Frazier, and Charlotte catcher Donny Lucy driving in runs. Charlotte right fielder Jim Gallagher then launched a two-run home run in the fifth inning to tie the game at two.
The sixth inning featured seven total runs. Syracuse struck with three in the top half of the inning. Michael Aubrey hit his second home run of the series to lead off the frame to put Syracuse ahead 5-4. Tug Hulett's RBI double and Chris McConnell's RBI single gave the Chiefs a 7-4 advantage.
But Charlotte answered with four runs against Chiefs starter Yunesky Maya and reliever Ryan Tatusko. Maya exited after a Jordan Danks double and Michael Restovich walk, and Triple-A rookie Tatusko was faced with some quick trouble. After a Lucy single, Dawkins lined a two-run double to center field. With one out, De Aza laced an RBI single to tie the game, and Gallagher walked in a run with the bases loaded two batters later.
It didn't take long for Syracuse to respond in the seventh. Matt Antonelli doubled to lead off the inning and Chris Marrero worked a walk. After an Aubrey flyout and Jesus Valdez fielder's choice, Hulett smacked his second double of the game, a two-run hit to left field, to vault the Chiefs back into the lead at 9-8.
The lead was short-lived. Jeff Mandel came on in relief in the seventh and allowed a leadoff single to Restovich. After Lucy's sacrifice bunt, Dawkins sent Mandel's first pitch over the center field wall for the third baseman's 100th career minor league home run.
Gregory Infante provided some relief for Charlotte with a scoreless eighth, but ran into trouble when Valdez and Hulett laced back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth. Carter came on in relief and induced a Frazier popout before walking Carlos Maldonado to load the bases. Blanco then pinch-hit for McConnell and struck out swinging on three pitches.
The game featured 32 combined hits and 19 combined runs. Syracuse collected nine extra-base hits, with three home runs and six doubles. Brown was 3-for-4 with a walk and two home runs for the Chiefs, while Hulett was 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and drove in three runs.
Syracuse next heads to Gwinnett for a four-game series with the Braves. Lefthander Ross Detwiler will throw against Braves righty Julio Teheran on Monday night at 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.