Syracuse falls to Buffalo in season-finale

Soto mashes 14th Chiefs homer in loss

Neftali Soto hit a two-run home run in the first inning Monday afternoon (Danny Tripodi)

By JD Raucci / Syracuse Chiefs | September 4, 2017 4:09 PM

Syracuse, NY (September 4, 2017) - The Syracuse Chiefs, playing as the Salt Potatoes for the second time in 2017, dropped the final game of the season to the Buffalo Bisons, 3-2, Monday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. Neftali Soto provided all of the offense for Syracuse with his 14th home run of the season in the first inning.

Syracuse (54-87) kicked off the scoring in the first inning against T.J. House. Rafael Bautista led the game off with a bang, smacking a line drive over the head of Bisons center fielder Roemon Fields for a triple. One batter later, Soto pummeled a home run over the center-field fence, giving the Salt Potatoes a 2-0 advantage.

Buffalo (65-76) retrieved a run in the fourth inning against John Simms. Anthony Alford started the frame with a double into right-center field. In the next at-bat, Rowdy Tellez lined out to center field, moving Alford to the third in the process. Two batters later, Danny Jansen reached on an infield single to third base, plating Alford and slicing the Salt Potatoes lead to 2-1.

The Bisons knotted the game in the fifth. On the first pitch of the inning, Fields roped a single over the head of Soto at first base. In the next at-bat, with Christian Lopes at the plate, Simms attempted to pick Fields off at first. His throw got away from Soto, allowing Fields to move to second on the error. In the next at-bat, Dwight Smith Jr. doubled down the right-field line, bringing Fields in to score, and tying the game at two.

With Phillips Valdez on the mound for the Salt Potatoes in the seventh inning, Buffalo took its first lead of the game. With one out, Fields reached on an infield single to third base. Two batters later, with Smith at the plate, Fields swiped his league-leading 43rd base of the season. Fields then scored on a Smith single to give the Bisons a 3-2 lead.

The Salt Potatoes nearly tied the game in the bottom of the ninth against Mike Bolsinger. With two outs, Jhonatan Solano ripped a double down the right-field line. In the next at-bat, Irving Falu singled into right field. Solano attempted to score on the play, but was cut down at the plate by an excellent throw from Alford in right to end the game.

The Chiefs finished the 2017 season with a record of 54-87. Syracuse opens its 2018 campaign with a six-game road trip against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Rochester beginning on Friday, April 6th. The Chiefs home opener is set for April 12th, 2018 when they host the Norfolk Tides. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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