By Josh Cook
Travis Wood and a Louisville seven-run sixth inning were too much for the International League North-leading Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday night in Syracuse, N.Y.
Wood pitched seven innings of shutout baseball the Bats' bats had a huge sixth to lead Louisville to a 9-1 win at Alliance Bank Stadium. It is the first time the Bats (28-33) have won back-to-back games since late May.
Wood (4-4) won for the third time in his last four starts by holding the Chiefs (34-26) to three hits, while walking one and striking out eight over seven innings.
He got plenty of help from Louisville's lumber. Five Bats had at least two hits each to lead Louisville's 13-hit attack.
The Bats scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before their sixth-inning eruption.
Yonder Alonso led off the fourth with a double. Two batters later Todd Frazier doubled him home.
In the fifth Wilkin Castillo hit his sixth homer of the season to make it 2-0 Louisville.
Then in the sixth Alonso walked with one out and Wladimir Balentien followed with a double. Syracuse starter Jeff Mandel (2-2) then intentionally walked Frazier. Chris Burke made Mandel pay with a two-run single. Chris Valaika followed with a two-RBI double. Castillo reached on a fielding error before Wood helped his own cause with an RBI-double to chase his counterpart Mandel. Drew Sutton welcomed reliever Mike MacDougal with a single to score Castillo. Zack Cozart then struck out before Alonso reached on an error, which also allowed Wood to score.
The Chiefs' only run came in the eighth on a solo home run by Leonard Davis off Louisville reliever Federico Baez. Ben Jukich struck out the side in the ninth inning to seal the win.
Alonso, Frazier, Valaika, Castillo and Drew Sutton had two hits apiece for the Bats.
The Bats and Chiefs will close out their four-game series at 7 p.m. Friday night. Right-hander Chad Reineke (2-4, 2.47 earned-run average) will take on Syracuse righty Craig Stammen (0-0, 0.00).