The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, used seven shutout innings from Aaron Laffey in a 3-0 blanking of the Norfolk Tides on Wednesday night from Harbor Park. Third baseman Brandon Laird blasted a two-run home run in the win, moving the Chiefs to a season-high 12 games over .500.
Syracuse (42-30) broke up left-hander Chris Jones' perfect game, no-hitter and shutout in a three-batter span in the fifth inning. With two outs in the frame, Laird reached on an infield single to third base, and Brian Goodwin followed with a walk. Designated hitter Brock Peterson then blasted a 3-0 pitch from Jones off the left-field wall for an RBI double, scoring Laird for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
Two innings later, Laird lifted off against right-hander Brad Brach. With one out in the seventh, Jhonatan Solano singled to bring up Laird. The Chiefs' third baseman bashed the next pitch just over the left-field wall for a two-run home run, extending the lead to 3-0. Laird's second home run in as many days gave him four with Syracuse for the season.
Norfolk (29-44), meanwhile, couldn't solve Laffey throughout seven innings. The southpaw scattered five hits and two walks in a game where he struck out just one. Laffey improved to 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last six starts and improved to 9-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 13 games on the season.
Left-hander Mike Gonzalez and right-hander Daniel Stange pitched the Chiefs through a scoreless eighth inning before right-hander Warner Madrigal tossed a perfect ninth.
The Chiefs and Tides will conclude their series on Thursday afternoon at 12:05. Syracuse right-hander Taylor Hill, the I.L. leader with a 1.75 ERA, will oppose Norfolk right-hander Edgmer Escalona.