The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost the first of a four-game series at Pawtucket 5-1 on Monday night. The Red Sox scored five runs in the second and third innings after the Chiefs jumped out to an early lead on Corey Brown's home run. Syracuse's ninth-inning rally fell short as the Chiefs put two runners on base against Michael Bowden but could not score. The loss drops Syracuse below .500 for the first time since June 2, 2009.
The Chiefs fell despite another shutout performance from Syracuse's bullpen. Righthanders Josh Wilkie, Henry Rodriguez, and Cole Kimball allowed just three hits in four and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief. Rodriguez's pitches were recorded as fast as 101 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. The trio pitched in relief of J.D. Martin, who allowed five runs in three and one-third innings in his first start of 2011.
Syracuse (5-6) scored first in the second inning when Brown lined his first Chiefs home run to center field. The Red Sox (7-5) would answer with a Tony Thomas solo home run and Luis Exposito RBI single in the second inning. Pawtucket then tacked on three more runs in the third, courtesy of a Josh Reddick two-run long ball and Drew Sutton single. Righthander Matt Fox redeemed himself for a loss to the Chiefs four days ago with six innings of one-run ball for the Red Sox.
The Chiefs and Red Sox play game two of a four-game tilt on Tuesday night from McCoy Field. Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya opposes Pawtucket righthander Kyle Weiland in a rematch from the Chiefs' 3-2 win over Pawtucket last Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.