The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, were stunned by the Toledo Mud Hens 8-5 on Sunday night. Scott Thorman's walkoff grand slam off of Josh Wilkie gave Toledo its sixth victory in six games against Syracuse this season. The Chiefs had taken the lead with four runs in the eighth inning, with Jhonatan Solano's 2-run single putting the Chiefs ahead. But Toledo scored six runs in its final two innings to win.
Offense was abundant early with runs scored in each of the first three innings. Toledo (52-58) struck first with Ryan Strieby driving in a first-inning run for the second straight game. After Brandon Inge and Timo Perez singled, Strieby lined a base hit to centerfield to score Inge.
Syracuse (47-60) answered in the second inning thanks to one swing of the bat from Jesus Valdez. The Chiefs right fielder slammed a 2-1 pitch from Ramon Garcia over the left field wall for his seventh home run of the season.
But the Mud Hens would strike right back in the third. Perez doubled to center field, his eighth straight time reaching base against the Chiefs, and Jeff Salazar's drilled an RBI single with two outs.
Down by a run, Syracuse would come back to lead, seemingly for good, in the eighth inning. Steve Lombardozzi worked a leadoff walk against reliever Ryan Perry, and Chris Marrero singled with one out. Valdez then loaded the bases with a single to right field. With three runners on, Tug Hulett lifted the eighth pitch of his at-bat to center field for a game-tying sacrifice fly.
After a walk to Matt Antonelli, Perry was removed for right-hander Brendan Wise. Solano then punched a 1-2 pitch into right field to score Marrero and Valdez. Jeff Frazier followed with an RBI single, giving the Chiefs a 5-2 lead.
But Toledo launched a rally in the bottom of the eighth. After two quick groundouts against Jeff Mandel, Thorman walked and Danny Worth tripled in a run. Clete Thomas then singled to center field, scoring Worth and cutting the lead to 5-4. After pinch-hitter Ben Guez was hit by a pitch, Josh Wilkie came in to get the final out of the inning by retiring Will Rhymes on a fly ball to center field.
The Mud Hens would rally in the ninth with a one-run deficit. Full-count walks to Inge, Strieby, and Salazer loaded the bases with one out. Thorman then stepped up to the plate and launched Wilkie's 2-1 pitch over the right field wall, giving the Mud Hens a walkoff win. Wilkie took his second straight loss after allowing Clete Thomas' game-winning 11th-inning single yesterday.
Syracuse and Toledo play the third of their four-game series tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Right-hander Brad Meyers makes his return from the disabled list for the Chiefs against Mud Hens lefty Andrew Oliver.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.