Syracuse, NY. -- The Syracuse Chiefs used timely hitting and solid relief work to hand the Gwinnett Braves their seventh straight loss, 6-3, in game one of the series Friday night at Alliance Bank Stadium. The G-Braves remain six games behind Charlotte in the International League South Division, as the Knights lost to Rochester, 3-0, on Friday.
The Chiefs picked up a run in the top of the first off G-Brave starting pitcher Yohan Flande, as Jarrett Hoffpauir tripled to right and scored on a single to left by Xavier Paul.
The 1-0 Syracuse lead lasted only a half-inning, as Ruben Gotay stroked a one-out single to left off of Chiefs starter Tanner Roark in the top of the second. Lance Zawadzki followed with a single to center and then J.C. Boscan tied it, 1-1, with a single to left that scored Gotay from third.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs edged ahead in the bottom of the third as Seth Bynum led off with a single and was bunted to second by Roark. He moved to third on a single by Cory Brown and Bynum would score on a sacrifice fly to left by Hoffpauir to make it 2-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, pinch-hitter Jim Negrych pounded a two-out, two-run homer to left off Gwinnett reliever Billy Bullock to move the Syracuse lead to 4-1.
Gwinnett cut the lead in half, 4-2, in the top of the eighth as Tyler Pastornicky reached on a error, then moved to second when Ernesto Mejia was hit by a pitch by reliever Jeff Mandel and scored on a single to center by Felix Pie.
Flande (L, 3-6) worked six quality innings for Gwinnett and allowed six hits and two earned runs while he walked one and struck out three. Bullock worked the seventh with two hits and surrendered two earned runs, but he did strike out two without yielding a walk. Gwinnett reliever Jaye Chapman surrendered two runs in the bottom of the eighth to run the final to 6-2. Chapman's inning included three hits, two earned runs, one walk and one strikeout.
Roark (W, 4-9) picked up the win in six innings. He allowed five hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out five. Austin Bibens-Dirkx worked a scoreless seventh inning with one hit. Mandel gave up one hit and one earned run in the eighth and Hassan Pena closed out the game with a scoreless ninth with one hit and two strikeouts.
At the plate for the G-Braves, Gotay was 2-for-4 and Jose Constanza was 2-for-5. Luis Durango, Pie, Zawadzki and Boscan each had one hit.
Syracuse was led by Paul who was 3-for-4 Carlos Rivero and Bynum each had two hits. Negrych had two RBIs on his home run in the seventh.
The Gwinnett Braves (37-39) and Syracuse Chiefs (37-37) continue the four-game series Saturday night with their second game. The G-Braves will have right-hander Julio Teheran (5-3, 3.24) on the mound against the Chiefs righty Yunesky Maya (4-5, 3.67). Gwinnett will be looking to snap their seven-game losing streak on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Alliance Bank Stadium.