Syracuse, NY (August 30, 2017) - The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 7-4, on Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. The loss snapped the Chiefs' three-game winning streak. Neftali Soto blasted his third home run in his last three games and sliced a double. Syracuse tied a season-high by striking out 15 IronPigs in the loss.
Lehigh Valley (75-62) jumped in front in the top of the third. IronPigs' pitcher Henderon Alvarez clubbed a double off A.J. Cole to right-center to lead off the frame. He scored on Scott Kingery's single to center. Kingery advanced to second on a throwing error by center fielder Andrew Stevenson. J.P. Crawford then singled to center, scoring Kingery and putting the IronPigs up 2-0. Three batters later, Angelo Mora singled to left, scoring Crawford and giving Lehigh Valley a 3-0 advantage.
Syracuse (53-84) narrowed the score with a two-run bottom of the fifth. Spencer Kieboom led off the inning with a walk, and Michael Almanzar brought him home on a double to left. Cole then singled off Alvarez on a ground ball to left, moving Almanzar to third. Almanzar scored on Rafael Bautista's groundout, putting the Chiefs within one.
However, the IronPigs grabbed both runs back in the top of the sixth. Brock Stassi led off with a single to center. Mora roped a double to right, moving Stassi to third. Cole struck out the next two batters and intentionally walked Logan Moore. With the bases loaded, the pitcher Alvarez continued his strong day at the plate with a single to left, scoring Stassi and Mora and making the score 5-2.
The Chiefs responded right away. Soto ripped a double to center to lead off the inning. Soto moved to third on a Clint Robinson flyout. With Adrian Sanchez at the plate, Alvarez threw a pitch in the dirt, which bounced up and got lodged in Logan Moore's chest plate. Home plate umpire Dan Merzel ruled it a dead ball, and by rule all baserunners are allowed to advance, thus allowing Soto to score and put Syracuse within two runs.
But Lehigh Valley tacked on two more runs in the top of the eighth. Mora hit a grounder back to the left of the mound, and Enny Romero's throw was in the dirt and got by first, allowing Mora to reach second on the throwing error. Two batters later, Andrew Pullin sliced a double to right-center, scoring Mora. After Moore struck out swinging, pinch-hitter Carlos Tocci hit a single to center, plating Pullin and making the score 7-3.
Soto continued his strong game with a solo home run to deep center in the bottom of the eighth, making the score 7-4. It was Soto's third home run of the series and his 13th of the year.
But the Chiefs would get no closer, and the game finished with a 7-4 tally.
The Chiefs close out the four-game series against the IronPigs Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. Jaron Long is set to pitch for the Chiefs while Tom Eshelman is slated to start for the IronPigs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.