The Syracuse Chiefs used a pair of strong innings to edge the Rochester Red Wings, 8-6, on Saturday night from Frontier Field. The Chiefs grabbed all eight of their runs and all 12 of their hits in the second and fifth innings. Syracuse blasted four home runs in the victory.
Rochester (27-30) scored the game's first run in the opening inning. With one out, catcher Mitch Garver smashed a solo home run off the batter's eye in center field against Syracuse starter Austin Voth.
Syracuse (19-38) responded quickly in the second inning, scoring five runs against Red Wings starter Yohan Pino. After Brandon Snyder singled and was thrown out at second, Clint Robinson drilled a long home run down the right-field line to tie the score. Two batters later, Andrew Stevenson reached on an infield single to bring up Butler. The Chiefs' right fielder smashed a 3-2 curveball off the scoreboard in left-center field for his first Syracuse home run, on a ball traveling an estimated 460 feet. Second baseman Irving Falu followed with a line-drive over the right-center field wall for a third homer of the inning, putting the Chiefs in front 4-1. The onslaught continued on a double from Emmanuel Burriss, playing in his first game of the season, and an RBI single from Adrian Sanchez. After Matt Skole singled to become the eighth Chief with a hit in the inning, Pino exited in favor of right-hander D.J. Baxendale.
After retiring seven consecutive batters, Baxendale ran into trouble in the top of the fifth. Sanchez walked and Skole singled to put a pair of runners aboard for Snyder. The Syracuse left fielder sent a searing line drive over the left-field wall for his team-leading 11th home run. The three-run blast put the Chiefs ahead 8-1.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Rochester rallied for five runs to tighten the score. Niko Goodrum doubled in Tommy Field, and two batters later, J.B. Shuck's single off the glove of Burriss at shortstop scored Goodrum, cutting the lead to 8-3. Billy Gardner summoned Rafael Martin from the bullpen, and after a fly out, Martin hit Engel Vielma on an 0-2 pitch. With two outs, Zack Granite's single to left field plated Shuck and sliced the lead to 8-4. A Garver walk loaded the bases for Matt Hague, who drilled a two-run single to left field for an 8-6 score. Martin exited the inning by inducing Field to fly out, with a pair of runners stranded.
The Chiefs' bullpen did the rest. Matt Grace walked one and didn't surrender a hit in two scoreless innings, bridging the gap up to the eighth inning. Trevor Gott did the rest, retiring the final six batters - five on groundouts - to pick up his second save of the series.
Syracuse aims for a series win Sunday afternoon at 1:35. Chiefs right-hander Dustin Antolin will start against Red Wings southpaw Matt Tracy.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.