The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, used two grand slams to power past the Rochester Red Wings 10-5 on Wednesday night. Mark Teahen's grand slam in the fifth inning tied the game for Syracuse, and Jason Michaels' eighth-inning slam put the Chiefs ahead for good in a six-run eighth inning. Syracuse has now won back-to-back games for the first time this year.
The night didn't start well for Syracuse (5-13) when Rochester (9-9) jumped all over Chiefs left-hander John Lannan in the first inning. Darin Mastroianni, Brian Dozier and Matt Carson stroked three straight singles to center field in the bottom of the frame to load the bases with nobody out. First baseman Aaron Bates then walked to force in the first run, and Joe Benson's double-play ground ball scored the second, putting the Red Wings on top 2-0 after one.
Rochester scored a second-inning run as well when Mastroianni singled in Matt Rizzotti, giving the Red Wings a 3-0 lead.
The Red Wings notched another tally with a fourth-inning run. Drew Butera singled with two outs, advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored on a third Mastroianni single. The Red Wings' left fielder collected three hits on the day, driving in two runs and scoring two.
After four scoreless innings with just three singles and two walks, Syracuse finally cracked Rochester right-hander Daryl Thompson in the fifth inning. Carlos Maldonado walked to lead off the inning and was erased by a Seth Bynum fielder's choice. Corey Brown then walked and Josh Johnson singled, loading the bases for right fielder Teahen. The left-handed hitter slammed a 1-0 pitch from Thompson into the Red Wings bullpen in right field, evening the score at 4. The home run was Teahen's first long ball of the season and Syracuse's first grand slam of the season.
Lannan tossed scoreless fifth and sixth innings before Mastroianni singlehandedly drummed up a seventh-inning rally. He led off the inning with a full-count walk before stealing second base. After a fly out and strikeout, Mastroianni stole third base on a 1-1 pitch to Bates. The next toss from Lannan was outside and trickled off of Maldonado's glove, and Mastroianni broke for the plate. Maldonado's throw to a covering Lannan was too high, and Mastroianni scored to put Rochester ahead 5-4.
But the Chiefs exploded in the eighth inning, detonating the Rochester bullpen for six runs. Left-hander Tyler Robertson entered from the bullpen and was greeted rudely. Teahen walked and Tyler Moore singled to put two runners aboard for Bryce Harper. The 19-year-old laid down a bunt back to Robertson, who attempted to get a force out at third base. But Michael Hollimon dropped the ball for an error, loading the bases for Michaels. The 35-year-old designated hitter worked the count to 2-1 before clobbering a pitch over the yellow line on the left-center field wall for a second grand slam of the night, putting Syracuse on top 8-5. The home run for Michaels was his first of the season.
After a Carlos Rivero single, right-hander Brendan Wise relieved Robertson. Maldonado then grounded into a double play, but the Chiefs continued to rally. Bynum's infield single, Brown's single, and Johnson's walk loaded the bases for Teahen once more. The right fielder then lined a two-run single into left field, increasing the Syracuse lead to its final tally of 10-5.
Josh Wilkie worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Ryan Perry closed the game out with a scoreless ninth for the victory. Lannan earned the win, his first of 2012, with seven innings and four earned runs allowed.
The Chiefs and Red Wings will tussle on Thursday afternoon as part of an 11:35 AM doubleheader. In the first game, Syracuse left-hander Zach Duke will square off with Rochster right-hander Cole DeVries. In the second, Chiefs right-hander Erik Arnesen and Red Wings righty Jeff Manship are each scheduled to make their first starts of the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.