The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, grabbed the final game of a three-game set with a 7-0 shutout win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum tossed six-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless ball and center fielder Steven Souza, Jr. backed him with a home run and five RBIs.
Syracuse (2-4) scored the game's first run just three batters into the game. After a leadoff strikeout of Eury Perez by Pawtucket starter Anthony Ranaudo, designated hitter Will Rhymes lined a double to right-center field - his fourth double in four hits to begin the season. Souza, Jr. followed with a line-drive single to right field, plating Rhymes for a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs added to the lead in the next inning. Zach Walters - making his first career Triple-A start at second base - began the frame by walloping a triple to straightaway center field, the Chiefs' first three-base hit of the year. Right fielder Brian Goodwin followed with a groundout to third base that scored Walters to double the Syracuse lead.
In the third inning, Syracuse continued its offensive surge. Perez reached on a one-out error and Rhymes singled to bring up Souza, Jr. The first-year Chiefs outfielder crushed a 2-1 pitch from Ranaudo over the left-center field wall for a towering three-run home run - Syracuse's first homer of the season. That extended the Chiefs' advantage to 5-0.
Souza, Jr. continued his big day in the seventh against left-hander Rich Hill. Jeff Howell's double and Perez's walk put a pair of runners aboard, and with two outs, Souza blooped a single to right field, scoring Howell for a 6-0 lead.
That was more than enough offensive support for Rosenbaum, who didn't allow a Pawtucket (4-3) hit until the fifth inning and cruised through six-and-two-thirds. The second-year Chiefs starter allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out five.
Syracuse tacked on another run with four consecutive walks against Dalier Hinojosa in the eighth inning. With two outs, Manny Burriss, Jose Lozada, Howell and Perez all reached on walks, with Perez's walk scoring Burriss.
The Chiefs head next to PNC Field to start a four-game series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Syracuse right-hander Ryan Tatusko and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right-hander Graham Stoneburner are the scheduled starters.