Chiefs off to fast start with three quick road wins

So far, so good!

The Syracuse Chiefs opened their 2011 season last Thursday in Western New York by beating the Buffalo Bisons, 8-5, at Coca-Cola Field. Led by new manager Randy Knorr, the Chiefs continued to play good baseball all weekend.

By Sunday evening Syracuse was 3-1 and riding high atop the International League's North Division.

The club's first loss came Friday night in extra innings against the Bisons, after reliever Matt Chico tossed a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th.

But the long night's work had its bright spots. Starter Ross Detwiler sparkled in his first game of 2011 for the Chiefs. The lefty allowed just four hits and one run over six innings, striking out eight while walking only one. Syracuse's bullpen turned in its second straight door-slamming performance, combining for six innings of five-hit, two-run ball. J.D. Martin shined in relief with four shutout innings, allowing only one hit.

The hero of Thursday's season opener was second baseman Seth Bynum who smacked a three-run homer and a two-run double for a game-high five RBIs. Reliever Cole Kimball collected the win in his Chiefs debut.

Catcher Jesus Flores drove in Boomer Whiting for the game's first run with a single to center, followed by a towering three-run drive by Bynum down the left field line.

On Saturday, the Chiefs traveled to Allentown, Pa., to face the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in another extra-inning game. Syracuse scored the winning run in the tenth when Jeff Frazier banged in Whiting from second to make it 2-1. Whiting had walked and advanced to second on a throwing error by pitcher Michael Stutes, then scored on Frazier's sharp single to right. Kimball saved his first Triple-A game with a scoreless tenth inning. The right-hander notched a win and a save in his first two Syracuse appearances.

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