The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, split a doubleheader with the Gwinnett Braves on Sunday afternoon. After a 5-1 loss in the twin bill's first game, Tanner Roark tossed five scoreless innings en route to a 1-0 win in game two.
Gwinnett (34-45) started the first game with a first-inning run against Chiefs left-hander Danny Rosenbaum. The Braves loaded the bases to start the frame on consecutive singles from Todd Cunningham, Alden Carrithers and Joey Terdoslavich. After an Ernesto Mejia strikeout, Rosenbaum hit left fielder Stefan Gartrell with a pitch to force in the game's first run.
The Braves tacked on an unearned run in the following inning. After a leadoff single by Luis Nunez, Gwinnett starter Cody Martin laid down a sacrifice bunt back to Rosenbaum, who threw the ball away on his toss to first base. Martin reached safely and Nunez advanced to third on the play, and two batters later, Carrithers' groundout to third base plated Nunez for a 2-0 lead.
Gartrell added to the lead against reliever Jeremy Accardo in the fifth inning. With two runners on and no outs, the left fielder knocked a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run home run, putting the Braves in front by five runs.
Syracuse (29-46) grabbed its only run against Martin in the seventh inning. Chris Rahl singled to start the frame, and after a Zach Walters fielder's choice, Carlos Rivero walked. Kris Watts loaded the bases with another single before pinch-hitter Brian Bocock scored a run with a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 5-1. Martin, however, would recover and retire Will Rhymes on a game-ending groundout to second base.
The Chiefs took their turn to grab a first-inning run in the doubleheader's second game. With two outs, Rahl singled, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Jose Yepez. Center fielder Corey Brown then bashed a 3-2 pitch into right field for an RBI single off of Braves starter Kameron Loe, giving the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
That run was all right-hander Tanner Roark would need in a sterling five-inning performance. Roark, making his first start since April 18, was brilliant, surrendering just four hits and no walks. He induced two ground-ball double plays and lowered his ERA to 3.73 in the victory.
Syracuse's bullpen closed the door with a pair of scoreless innings. Right-hander Mike Crotta tossed a 1-2-3 sixth before Erik Davis picked up the save with a scoreless seventh.
Syracuse next heads home after an off day on Monday to start a five-game, four-day series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Chiefs and RailRiders will begin their series on Tuesday night at 7:00 with Syracuse right-hander Caleb Clay slated to start.