Chiefs’ Streak at Three as Falu Strikes Again

Chiefs’ Streak at Three as Falu Strikes Again

Published on June 24, 2017

Story by Aubrie Tolliver
Photos by Mike Drew

Syracuse, N.Y.
 — Irving Falu homered for the winning run for the second night in a row, as the Syracuse Chiefs nudged the Buffalo Bisons 2-1 on a humid, Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Chiefs offense was backed a solid pitching performance by newcomer Jaron Long. Pitching in only his second start in Triple-A this season, Long went seven innings, allowing just five hits with seven strikeouts.

The Chiefs put together a three-game winning streak, the longest since winning six in a row back in the middle of April. The team improved to 25-46 on the season. The Bisons, who have won just two of their last 19 games, fell to 34-39.

Pitchers duel

The Falu homer in the bottom of the seventh broke a 1-1 tie, which had lasted four-and-a-half innings. Each team had plated its first run in the second inning.

In the top of the inning, Long allowed his first hit—a Raffy Lopez double down the right-field line. Shane Opitz drove him home two batters later with a single to left but was gunned down trying to advance to second.

In the bottom, Clint Robinson reached base on a groundball single to right field. He would eventually get driven home on a Spencer Kieboom laser through the left side.

It was a pitchers’ duel from there. But Long outlasted Bisons’ starter Mike Bolsinger. Bolsinger was pulled going into the bottom of the seventh after allowing seven hits and the one run. Glenn Sparkman took his place and Falu welcomed him with the banger.

Two are enough

The Chiefs got something going in the bottom of the sixth, leading off the inning with back-to-back singles—first by Andrew Stevenson, then by Adrian Sanchez. However, a line out and a 1-6-3 double play spoiled the opportunity. It was the fourth double play turned by the Bisons defense in seven innings.

Luckily for Syracuse those two runs were all the offense needed, as relief pitchers Erick Feede and Austin Adams shut down the Bisons in the eighth and ninth innings. Adams was credited with the save.

“It starts with pitching,” Robinson said in a post-game interview. He attributes the team’s recent success to the starting pitchers, who have given up nine runs in these past three games. “You feed off of it when you know that all you have to do is put up good at-bats and you’re going to win the game.”

Stevenson, Robinson and Falu each finished with two hits—all singles.

Buffalo’s Raffy Lopez finished 3-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles.

The Bisons and the Chiefs are set to return to NBT Bank Stadium Saturday for game three of this four-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.