SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Chiefs used timely hitting and solid relief work to hand the Gwinnett Braves their seventh straight loss, 6-2, 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-Braves' 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. 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.
But the Chiefs regained the lead for good the bottom of the third. 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. 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 (4-9) picked up the win in six innings. He allowed five hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out five.
At the plate for the G-Braves, Gotay was 2-for-4 and Jose Constanza was 2-for-5.
The G-Braves (37-39) and Chiefs (37-37) continue the four-game series tonight with their second game. Gwinnett will have right-hander Julio Teheran (5-3, 3.24) on the mound against the righty Yunesky Maya (4-5, 3.67).