The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped the final game of a four-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in an 8-1 loss on Monday night. The RailRiders scored four runs in the third inning and never looked back en route to the victory. Syracuse now heads home to begin an eight-game stretch at NBT Bank Stadium.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (8-8) started strong with a four-run third inning against Chiefs right-hander Ross Ohlendorf. With two runners on to start the inning, right fielder Thomas Neal punched a double into left field, scoring shortstop Gil Velazquez. Two pitches later, left fielder Zoilo Almonte knocked a two-run double to deep center field, plating second baseman Corban Joseph and Neal for a 3-0 lead. The inning's final run came when catcher Austin Romine singled in Almonte.
Two innings later, Syracuse (7-10) grabbed its only run. With two outs, left fielder Micah Owings doubled to center field against RailRiders starting pitcher Chris Bootcheck. After a Carlos Maldonado walk, center fielder Jeff Kobernus lined a single into right field, scoring Owings for the game's only run. Maldonado, however, was thrown out on the play in a rundown between second and third base.
The RailRiders quickly answered in the bottom of the fifth inning. With Neal on second base and one out, Dan Johnson grounded a single into left field, scoring Neal for a 5-1 lead.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre put the finishing touches on in the sixth inning with a three-run rally. With one out, Velazquez singled Melky Mesa home from third base, knocking Ohlendorf out of the game. Left-hander J.C. Romero then entered to strike out Joseph before facing Neal with two outs. The RailRiders' right fielder laced a double down the left-field line, scoring Velazquez from first base. Third baseman Carlos Rivero then cut off the throw from the outfield and tried to throw Neal out at second base, but his throw went into right field for an error, allowing Neal to move up two bases and score.
The Chiefs begin an eight-game homestand on Tuesday night with a 6:00 start time against the Rochester Red Wings. Rochester right-hander Virgil Vasquez will throw for the Red Wings against a Syracuse pitcher to be announced.