The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, topped the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 7-2 on Sunday afternoon at Alliance Bank Stadium.
Tyler Moore provided a bright start for Syracuse (3-7) on an otherwise overcast and rainy day that was delayed 53 minutes. Leading off the top of the second inning, Moore powered an opposite field solo home run to right field - his league-leading fifth of 2012.
The 25-year old Moore reached base as the first man up in the fourth as well when he drew a five-pitch walk. After a Bryce Harper fielder's choice and Mark Teahen single, one of Teahen's four hits on the night, Jhonatan Solano knocked a sacrifice fly to center field to score Harper. The Chiefs tacked on one more run thanks to a Teahen stolen base and a Carlos Rivero RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0.
Meanwhile, Syracuse starter Mitch Atkins didn't allow a hit through the first three and one-third innings. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (4-6) finally broke through for a run in the home fifth, though, with a two-out rally. Craig Tatum singled and scored on a Ray Kruml double to center to cut the Chiefs' lead to 3-1.
Atkins sustained his success, though, as he became the first Syracuse pitcher this season to work into the seventh. The right-handed Atkins limited the Yankees to just one run on three hits over seven innings, while striking out four. His counterpart Ramon Ortiz tossed only five innings and gave up three runs on five hits, striking out one and walking one.
Syracuse took advantage of Ortiz's replacement, Jason Bulger, in the sixth. Harper provided a spark to lead the frame off when he turned an innocent blooper hit to shallow center into a double. Harper's was the first of four doubles in a four-run inning. Teahen, Rivero, and Jarrett Hoffpauir all had RBI doubles in the frame to put the Chiefs comfortably ahead, 7-1.
After those seven stellar innings from Atkins, Austin Bibens-Dirkx tossed a tidy eighth inning, retiring the Yankees in order on just eight pitches. In the ninth, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre touched up Bibens-Dirkx for a run, but the righty struck out Tatum to end the game.
As part of the Chiefs' celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, Robinson's original National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque was on display inside Alliance Bank Stadium for fans to see. Local news anchor Jackie Robinson no relation threw out the game's first pitch.
Syracuse stays at Alliance Bank Stadium and opens up a four-game set with the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday at 6:00 PM. The Chiefs will send Tanner Roark to the mound against Pawtucket's Ross Ohlendorf in a battle of righties.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.