From staff and wire reports:
SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs earned a come-from-behind victory Thursday night over the Norfolk Tides by a score of 7-4. Brian Goodwin slugged a grand slam as part of a six-run seventh inning that led the Chiefs to victory.
Syracuse (21-18) scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. The Chiefs loaded the bases on three consecutive singles from Brian Goodwin, Matt den Dekker and Matt Skole. Kevin Keyes came to the plate with two outs and scored Goodwin on an infield single, giving Syracuse a 1-0 lead. The run would be the last that Syracuse would score until the seventh inning.
The score stood until the fourth inning, when Norfolk (14-28) finally got to Chiefs starter A.J. Cole. Prior to the fourth Cole had sat down the first nine Tides batters. The streak was halted with a leadoff double from Xavier Avery, who then went to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Mike Yastrzemski laced a single to center, plating Avery to tie the game at 1-1.
The score remained at 1-1 until a Tides rally in the sixth. Yastrzemski started the inning with a walk and moved to second when Trey Mancini singled to center. Following a fly out, Audry Perez singled, which scored Yastrzemski and gave the Tides a 2-1 lead. Corban Joseph then followed Perez’s single with a double to right, scoring Mancini for a 3-1 lead. Perez moved to third on the hit. Cole was then replaced by reliever Sam Runion, who allowed a two-out single to Michael Almanzar which scored Perez for a 4-1 lead.
Syracuse answered in a big way in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tides pitcher Chaz Roe came on in relief and allowed a leadoff single to Matt Skole. Pedro Severino and Keyes then struck out, bringing up Scott Sizemore with two outs. Sizemore worked a walk from Roe, setting the stage for Caleb Ramsey. Ramsey singled, scoring Skole to cut the lead to 4-2. Sizemore went to second on the hit. Jose Lozada followed the single with a double down the left-field line, plating Sizemore and bringing the Chiefs within one, 4-3.
With runners on second and third, Roe then intentionally walked Trea Turner to load the bases. After Norfolk reliever Zach Phillips took over on the mound, Goodwin welcomed the southpaw to Syracuse with a grand slam to deep right-center, pushing the Chiefs’ lead to 7-4. The grand slam was the first of Goodwin’s career and the first for the Chiefs since August of last season.
Runion threw scoreless seventh and eighth innings to earn the win in relief. He allowed just one hit while striking out two in two and one-third total innings of work. It was his first win of the season. Rafael Martin entered the ninth and pitched a perfect frame while striking out two Norfolk batters.
The Chiefs are home again Friday evening for game two of the series against Norfolk. Taylor Hill is scheduled to get the start for Syracuse opposite Tides starter T.J. McFarland. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.
HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): Off day Thursday. Swept the Erie Seawolves in a three-game series earlier in the week. On Wednesday, Reynaldo Lopez struck out nine over six innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk to earn his first win of the year, beating Erie 3-1. Lopez upped his record to 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA. Isaac Ballou drove in two runs and Netfali Soto went 2 for 4.
Shawn Pleffner went 2 for 4 with three RBIs on Tuesday to lead the Senators to a 6-2 win. Tyler Mapes gave up one run on six hits over six innings but did not factor in the decision.
In the series opener on Monday, Wilmer Difo went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, Chris Bostick drove in two, and Jaron Long (2-1, 1.07) pitched five shutout innings and the Senators topped the Seawolves 5-2.
POTOMAC (HIGH-A Carolina League): With a chance for the series sweep, the Nationals scored in the first inning but lost a lead in the second and did not lead again in a 5-4 loss to the visiting Carolina Mudcats. RHP Phillips Valdez (L, 4-2) allowed four earned runs over six innings, but it was an RBI double by Carolina 1B Joey Meneses in the seventh against RHP Robert Benincasa that proved to be the difference in Potomac’s 5-4 loss.
For the third straight game, the P-Nats (21-17) struck for a run in the home half of the first inning. After RHP Wes Parsons (ND) recorded two quick outs, Potomac had three straight two-out singles, as 1B Jose Marmolejos, C Raudy Read, and DH Alec Keller each had a hit. Keller’s single plated Marmolejos and made it 1-0. It was Keller’s team-leading 23rd RBI of the season.
The lead lasted just half an inning, as the Mudcats plated a pair in the second against Valdez. A single, two fielder’s choice groundouts, and a hit batsman put runners on second and third with two outs for LF Joseph Daris. Daris, who entered the game with just four RBIs, plated both 2B Ryan Gebhardt and CF Stephen Gaylor with a single to centerfield, as the Mudcats took a 2-1 lead. Daris had three total RBIs on the night.
That’s where the game stood until the fourth inning, when both teams cracked their opposing starter yet again. Meneses started the frame with a single, Gebhardt had a one-out base hit, and Gaylor’s two-out single loaded the bases. After two straight foul balls with a 3-2 count to Daris, Valdez missed with his third payoff pitch and walked in a run that made it 3-1. In the bottom half of the frame,3B Khayyan Norfork drove home Read with a single and CF Dale Carey tied the game at three with an RBI groundout.
Valdez then gave up his final run in the top of the fifth inning, as Curcio reached on a strikeout/wild pitch, and eventually scored on a two-out single by Gebhardt. That made it 4-3 in favor of the Mudcats as it turned over to the bullpens. RHP Sean McLaughlin (W, 2-1) got the final two outs in the fifth, worked a scoreless sixth, but gave up a run on an RBI single by LF Andrew Stevenson in the seventh. In the top of that frame, Benincasa walked Curcio to begin the inning and he later scored on Meneses’ eventual game-winning hit.
Potomac heads to Frederick for the first time in 2016 to take on the Keys. The series opener is Friday night, with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-2, 3.94) is set to toss for Potomac.
HAGERSTOWN (LOW-A South Atlantic League): The Suns scored runs in the first and second innings, then couldn't get much else going and fell to the Greensboro Grasshoppers 4-2 at NewBridge Bank Park.
Victor Robles went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored, and Jakson Reetz hit his second home run of the season, but it wasn't enough to beat the Grasshoppers. Joan Baez (L, 1-4) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits while striking out three. Thursday's game was the first of a four-game set in Greensboro.
The Suns (26-13) swept the Lakewood Blueclaws in a three-game series earlier in the week. On Wednesday, Jefry Rodriguez gave up one run on five hits and two walks to beat Lakewood 2-1. Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA this season.