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Espino pitches, hits Chiefs past Indians

Syracuse salvages final game with a 5-3 win over Indianapolis
8:29 PM EDT

Syracuse, NY (5/24/2015) - The Syracuse Chiefs snapped a seven-game losing streak Sunday evening, beating the Indianapolis Indians, 5-3. Chiefs starter Paolo Espino hurled seven scoreless innings in his Chiefs debut and added a three-run home run in the victory.

Syracuse (17-26) scored first on Sunday afternoon and never gave up the lead. Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to left field. The next batter, right fielder Matt den Dekker, grounded out to first, scoring Burriss, and giving the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead.

Neither team scored over the next three innings with both starting pitchers throwing very effectively against the opponent. The scoring drought ended in the bottom of the fourth, as the Chiefs put up three more runs. With two outs, catcher Dan Butler tripled to left-center field. Indians starter Clayton Richard then intentionally walked second baseman Cutter Dykstra to put runners on the corners for Paolo Espino. On a 2-2 count, Espino crushed a three-run home run over the right-field wall, for his first career homerun, putting the Chiefs up 4-0.

The Chiefs were not done yet, as the team increased the lead over Indianapolis (25-19) again in the bottom of the sixth. Center fielder Darin Mastroianni led off the inning with a single off of Indians reliever Adam Miller. During Jason Martinson's at-bat Mastroianni stole second and then third on consecutive pitches. Butler singled to center, driving in Mastroianni and giving the Chiefs a 5-0 lead.

The Indians finally got on the board in the top of the eighth. Jaff Decker led off the inning reaching on an error by second baseman Cutter Dykstra, off Chiefs reliever Jose Valverde. Decker advanced all the way to third on a fielder's choice groundout to third. Indianapolis scored its first run of the game in the next at-bat when Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to second, scoring Decker.

Indianapolis tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth off the bat of Deibinson Romero. With one out and Gustavo Nuñez on first, Romero cranked a two-run home run over the left field wall to bring the Indians within two. The Indians were unable to score another run, and the Chiefs snapped their seven game losing streak, winning 5-3.

Chiefs starter Espino played in his first game in a Chiefs uniform this season on Sunday, throwing a gem for Syracuse. Espino pitched seven scoreless innings, only giving up four hits and striking out three batters. Espino was called up from double-A Harrisburg on Sunday morning.

The Chiefs hit the road for a weeklong road trip starting on Monday. Syracuse will head down south to take on the Norfolk Tides for four games and then to Durham for a three-game set against the Bulls. Taylor Hill will take the mound tomorrow night against fellow right-hander Zach Davies in the Chiefs' first game of the road trip starting at 7:05 p.m.