The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost their fourth one-run game of the season on Tuesday night with a 1-0 defeat to Pawtucket. Starting pitchers Yunesky Maya and Justin Germano dueled into the eighth inning in a scoreless tie, but Pawtucket catcher Ryan Lavarnway's solo home run in the ninth provided the game's only run before Bryce Harper sharply lined out with two runners on in the bottom of the inning.
For Syracuse (3-9), Maya turned in one of his best professional performances with seven and one-third scoreless innings. He ran into a spot of trouble in the first inning with two outs, when Lavarnway singled and designated hitter Lars Anderson doubled him to third. But the right-hander from Cuba recovered, getting Mauro Gomez to fly out to right field.
But the Chiefs' bats were equally stifled against Pawtucket (8-5) right-hander Justin Germano. In his first start at Syracuse since a perfect game with Columbus last season, Germano was brilliant once more. He allowed just three singles in seven innings, with the Chiefs putting together only one serious threat.
That threat came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Harper singled to lead off the frame, and designated hitter Jarrett Hoffpauir grounded his second single of the night to left field. After a Carlos Maldonado sacrifice bunt moved the runners up to second and third with one out, third baseman Carlos Rivero hit a ground ball to his counterpart at third, Jonathan Hee, who held the runners and threw to first base for the second out. Shortstop Josh Johnson then flied out to left field, ending the inning.
Meanwhile, Maya cruised after the first, allowing no additional hits until the eighth inning. With one out, Che-Hsuan Lin and Tony Thomas laced back-to-back singles to put two runners on base. Hee then walked to load the bases, and Maya was removed for Josh Wilkie. It took all of one pitch for Wilkie to escape the inning, with Daniel Nava grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.
But after Brandon Duckworth fired a scoreless eighth inning for the Red Sox, Pawtucket finally struck in the top of the ninth. After Wilkie struck out Jose Iglesias, Lavarnway launched a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence near the 356-foot mark. The home run, Lavarnway's second in as many days, gave Pawtucket the first and only run of the game.
In the bottom of the frame, the Chiefs put one final rally on against Duckworth. Seth Bynum singled with one out, and after a Mark Teahen strikeout, Tyler Moore singled to left. With runners on first and second and two outs, Duckworth threw a wild pitch to advance the runners to second and third base. But Harper's hard line drive traveled right into the glove of Tony Thomas at second base, ending the game.
The Chiefs and Red Sox will play their third game of a four-game series Wednesday at 6:00. Two major league veterans, Syracuse left-hander John Lannan and Pawtucket right-hander Aaron Cook, will duel.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.