Chien-Ming Wang started for Syracuse (12-21) and earned his first victory as a Chief. The big league veteran is in the minors rehabbing a hamstring injury he sustained during a March 15 spring training start.
Wang allowed a run in the first inning but settled in after that. The righty from Taiwan scattered two runs on eight hits over seven innings. He threw 89 pitches with 61 registering for strikes.
Meanwhile, Syracuse's offense, with help from Durham's (12-22) defense, provided Wang with plenty of run support. Trailing 1-0 after a half inning, Corey Brown led off the home half with a double to right field. Josh Johnson followed with a grounder back to Durham starter Alex Cobb, who threw to third to tag out Brown. Bulls third baseman Matt Mangini, however, dropped the throw and everyone was safe. Brown then came around to score on Mark Teahen's first of three run-scoring hits, a pull-single to right that tied the game 1-1.
Cobb recovered with back-to-back strikeouts, yet he wasn't out of the woods. When Teahen took off to steal second, catcher Craig Albernaz threw to third where Johnson had a large lead. Mangini missed the catch for the second time in the inning, though, and Johnson scooted home to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.
On an evening of on-and-off rain, Syracuse poured the scoring on in the bottom of the second. The Chiefs loaded the bases via Carlos Maldonado and Johnson walks sandwiched around a Corey Brown single. Teahen's second run-scoring single of the night made it 3-1 Chiefs and kept the bases loaded. That set the stage for Brett Carroll's bases-clearing double, which one-hopped the wall in left.
Comfortably ahead 6-1, Syracuse tacked on one more in the second, another in the fourth, and two in the seventh. Six Chiefs finished with multi-hit nights, highlighted by third and fourth-placed batters Teahen and Carroll, who drove in a combined eight runs. Eleven walks drawn and fifteen hits helped lift Syracuse to a season high in runs.
With that said, Durham's Mangini made things interesting in the top of the eighth when the lefty batter cranked a grand slam to right off of Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who entered in relief of Wang. Bibens-Dirkx exited after that, but the Bulls' offense wasn't done. Rafael Martin and Atahualpa Severino combined to walk the bases loaded. In turn, Jesus Feliciano made the Chiefs pay by lofting a two-run double to left that brought Durham to within two at 10-8.
With the tying runs in scoring position and two out, the southpaw Severino induced a Stephen Vogt groundout to second base for Syracuse to survive the eighth with its lead in tact. The Syracuse lead surged right after that, as the Chiefs plated five in the eighth to go up by the final tally of 15-8.
The Chiefs and Bulls conclude their four-game series at Alliance Bank Stadium on Thursday at 7:00 PM. Syracuse righty Yunesky Maya will battle against Durham righty Matt Torra.