Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chiefs Wait Out Rain, Beat RailRiders 5-2

Story by Mike Drew

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- On Monday night, the Syracuse Chiefs (27-47) needed something to feel good about again.

Their recent four-game winning streak was snapped in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday when the Buffalo Bisons scored three runs in the ninth inning to come away with a 7-5 win.

This time, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (46-30) were in town to begin a four-game set.

The Chiefs waited out an hour and 44-minute rain delay in the middle of the fifth to win 5-2 behind a three-run rally in the seventh, during which Catcher Spencer Kieboom ripped a go-ahead two-run single down the left-field line against Scranton Reliever Nestor Cortes.

"Honestly, I was just looking for a fastball away," Kieboom said. "And if he spun one, I figured it was going to come in. I got lucky and I'd rather be lucky than good sometimes."

Jackson's Debut

Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson made his first start for the Chiefs since being signed as a free agent by the Washington Nationals on June 15.

He threw four no-hit innings on 67 pitches before being yanked.

"His stuff is really good," Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said. "His command was really good early, but suffered a little bit late. He threw 67 pitches and 35 strikes. Obviously, the command is the next step for him."

Quick Start

Jackson was handed a lead in the first inning when center fielder Andrew Stevenson singled, stole second and took third when Scranton catcher Eddy Rodriguez's throw sailed into center field. Stevenson scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Brandon Snyder.

Then, in the second, Syracuse added another run when second baseman Irving Falu picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice grounder to short, scoring left fielder Neftali Soto.

Those were the only two runs RailRiders starter Joe Mantiply would yield in his three innings of work.

Mother Nature Strikes

In the top of the fifth, center fielder Dustin Fowler singled home shortstop Tyler Wade to give Scranton its first run of the night.

Chiefs left-hander Sammy Solis then struck out third baseman Miguel Andujar to end the inning.

Less than 60 seconds after the Solis walked off the mound, the sky opened up.

A torrential downpour ensued and so did the rain delay.

"Some guys hang out, some talk, some play cards," Kieboom said. "Today I was just watching, getting a vibe as to what we were going to be doing, just trying to stay focused."

The umpires evaluated the field's playing condition several times before deciding the game would be resumed.

Major Relief

Once the game started back up, the Chiefs were in a pitching dilemma.

Solis couldn't continue because of the amount of down time after his last pitch. Thus, Gardner was down to just two available relievers: Cody Satterwhite and Austin Adams.

The game was put in Satterwhite's hands first. He threw a gutsy 56 pitches.

"He did a great job," Gardner said. "He got a big double-play for us there with (Donovan) Solano up there in the eighth."

Prior to that situation, Satterwhite had surrendered the game-tying home run to Scranton right fielder Jake Cave.

Winning Rally

With the game tied 2-2, the Chiefs became aggressive in the bottom of the seventh.

Right fielder Alejandro De Aza led off with a single. Then, Falu dropped a bunt down the first-base line, which was thrown into left field by RailRiders first baseman Ji-Man Choi.

"That really put them into a tough situation," Gardner said.

Kieboom's single followed and an insurance run was added on an RBI single by shortstop Emmanuel Burriss.

Adams picked up his third save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth inning.

Welcome to the Big Leagues

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Al Pedrique took Wade out of the game after the rain delay and no injury was announced.

It was later reported that Wade had been called up by the New York Yankees after their regular shortstop, Starlin Castro, suffered a hamstring injury in Chicago.

What's Next

The Chiefs will go for their sixth win in seven games behind Sean O'Sullivan (1-1, 3.26 ERA) Tuesday night at 6:35. The RailRiders will counter with Chance Adams (5-2, 2.12 ERA).

Photos: Chiefs Bounce Back After Loss

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Chiefs got back on track after a loss on Sunday when the defeated the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 5-2 on Monday night. It wasn't a quick and easy win though, there was a rain delay that lasted for over an hour. After they restarted the game at 9:45, the Chiefs were able to seal the deal giving Edwin Jackson the win.

The Chiefs and RailRaiders are scheduled back at NBT Bank Stadium on Tuesday at 6:35.

Here is a look at the game in photos. Click on any picture to start slide show.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bisons Snap Chiefs Streak, 7-5

Story by Aubrie Tolliver.

Photo by Jacqueline Mundry.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— They say baseball is a game of streaks.

The Syracuse Chiefs were three outs away from a five-game winning streak.

The Buffalo Bisons were three outs away from an 11-game losing streak, the worst in the team's modern era.

Both streaks were snapped, as the Bisons scored three times in the top of the ninth to beat the Chiefs 7-5 Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium.

Four-straight hits for the Bisons gave the team the late lead, which it kept. Buffalo's record improves to 35-40 on the season. The Chiefs’ record dropped to 26-47.

Too many pitches

Chiefs’ starter A.J. Cole struggled to settle in, throwing 45 pitches in the first inning, giving up two walks and a hit. He got through the jam unscathed by striking out a couple of Bisons for the first and third outs.

Buffalo, however, got to Cole in the following two innings.

In the second, the team plated two runs on two Chiefs' errors. And the next inning, three-straight singles brought home another two. It was 4-0 Bisons after three.

Chiefs rally

But, the Syracuse bats continued to be trouble for the Bison pitching staff. In the bottom of the third, Andrew Stevenson blasted his first homer of the year over the right-field fence, which ignited the rest of the offense.

A single and hit-by-pitch set the table for Jhonatan Solano, who pulled the ball down the left-field line for a double—his first hit since June 18. The Chiefs inched closer, 4-3.

The comeback was complete the next inning when Caleb Ramsey scored on a Stevenson single through the right side. Stevenson was 3-3 at that point in the game.

Chiefs go ahead, but Bisons turn the tables

Irving Falu gave his team the lead in the fifth by legging out a triple, which scored Alejandro De Aza—another timely hit. The score remained 5-4 in favor of the Chiefs until the Bisons decided to get some clutch hits of their own.

Single, single, double, single is how it happened. Chiefs’ reliever Wander Suero gave up four-consecutive hits in the top of the ninth, which brought home three runs. After that, Rafael Martin stepped onto the mound and got the inning-ending double play.

But, the damage was done. A near-perfect inning by closer Chris Smith gave the Bisons the 7-5 victory.


In an interview back in early May, Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said the team was lacking those clutch hits, which he said led to a losing skid.

"We've got to get a few of our guys that we thought would hit to start cooking a little bit,” Gardner said on May 2.

This series, the Chiefs had two walk-off wins from two different players. Robinson hit .533 this series—despite going 0-4 Sunday at the plate. And, Stevenson finished 3-5 on Sunday.

One would have to imagine that is what Gardner meant “cooking”.

“This past stretch has been pretty fun,” said Stevenson in a post-game interview. “We’re just getting timely hits and the pitching has been great. If you can get both of those things that normally equals a win.”

The Chiefs are looking to keep offense and pitching alive, as they are set to begin a four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday night at NBT Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Buffalo snaps ten game losing streak

Photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE N.Y. -- The Syracuse Chiefs four game hot streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon when they were defeated by the Buffalo Bisons 7-5. The Bisons ended a ten-game losing streak on Sunday.

After the game kids were invited on the field to run the bases at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Chiefs will continue their home stand Monday night against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Bisons will head home for a doubleheader on Monday beginning at 5:35 against the Rochester Red Wings.

Here is a look at Sunday's game in photos. Click on any picture to start slide show.