By Josh Cook
On a night when their former teammate made a dazzling Major League debut the Syracuse Chiefs blew a 5-0 lead against the Louisville Bats before Pete Orr's two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth gave them a 7-6 win Tuesday night in Syracuse, N.Y.
While Stephen Strasburg was striking out 14 in his first start with the parent Washington Nationals, his former teammates blew out to an early lead on Homer Bailey.
Bailey, down from the Cincinnati Reds on a rehab assignment, was bombarded for five runs on six hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
The Bats, though, battled back to take a 6-5 lead. They scored four runs in the fifth, with three of those coming on a two-out, three-run homer by Zack Cozart. Louisville tallied twice more in the sixth when Wladimir Balentien and Wilkin Castillo began the inning with back-to-back doubles, Balentien scoring on Castillo's hit. The Bats then took the lead when Todd Frazier's followed with a single that scored Castillo.
But it proved to be a night not only for former Chiefs, as Strasburg (who went 4-1 with a 1.08 earned run average in Syracuse) won his debut 5-2 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as current ones. Orr's homer, his eighth of the season, came off Louisville reliever Jared Burton (1-1), who blew a save opportunity for the second time this season.
Joel Peralta (2-0) gave up a single to Chris Valaika to lead off the ninth, but then he got Chris Denove to ground into a double play. Michael Griffin doubled, but then Peralta struck out Drew Sutton to end the game.
The Bats out-hit Syracuse 9-7 led by Valaika's two singles.
The two teams meet for the second game of their four-game series at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Alliance Bank Stadium.