The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, used a dazzling start from Yunesky Maya in a 5-0 win over the Durham Bulls on Monday night. Maya tied his career-high with nine strikeouts in seven-and-two-thirds shutout innings, and Zach Walters' three-run home run gave the Chiefs an early lead en route to the victory.
Walters put Syracuse (11-19) in an early lead with his second-inning blast off of Bulls starter Jim Paduch. First baseman Chris Marrero led off the inning with a four-pitch walk, before Micah Owings singled him to second base. Three pitches later, Walters smashed a 2-0 delivery deep into the right-field seats to collect his team-high seventh home run of the season. The long ball marked the first Chiefs homer since Walters went deep against Durham on April 28.
The Chiefs added a pair of runs in the third inning to extend the lead to 5-0. After Eury Perez started the frame with a double, Jeff Kobernus singled to right field. Perez stopped temporarily at third base, but right fielder Wil Myers bobbled the ball for an error, allowing Perez to score the Chiefs' fourth run. Three batters later, Kobernus came home from third base on a sacrifice fly by Owings.
Maya, meanwhile dominated the Durham (20-11) bats all evening long. He surrendered just six hits and one walk in his seven-and-two-thirds innings of work. The nine strikeouts are the most for Maya since he punched out nine on April 24, 2011 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Chiefs and Bulls return to the diamond on Tuesday night at 7:00. Syracuse right-hander Ryan Perry and Durham left-hander Alex Torres are the scheduled starting pitchers.