Michael Aubrey knocked in four runs and Tommy Milone dealt seven shutout innings as the Syracuse Chiefs (38-47), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Pawtucket Red Sox (47-41) 8-2 Thursday at Alliance Bank Stadium. Aubrey hit his team-leading 10th home run in the first inning while Milone held the PawSox to just two hits en route to the big win.
The Chiefs took a quick lead in the first when Aubrey blasted a two-out home run over the right field fence. Syracuse threatened to extend the lead after a Chris Marrero walk and Jesus Valdez single, but PawSox starter Brandon Duckworth sat down Jesus Flores with a strikeout to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Milone breezed his way through the first three innings by retiring the Pawtucket lineup in order. He finally gave up his first baserunner on a Ryan Lavarnway single in the fourth, but struck out Lars Anderson in the next at-bat to end the inning.
The Chiefs then took over in the bottom of the frame. Jesus Flores led off with a ground-rule double and advanced to third on Corey Brown's sacrifice bunt. Seth Bynum brought him home in the next at-bat with a groundball single up the middle to double Syracuse's lead.
But the run didn't stop there as Gregor Blanco drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. Steve Lombardozzi then scorched a grounder to second but just beat out the inning-ending double play to keep the inning alive. That moved Bynum to third and Matt Antonelli walked to load the bases. Aubrey again stepped up and added three more RBI to his solo homer in the first with a bases clearing double.
The 5-0 lead was more than enough for Milone as he continued to baffle the PawSox batters. He faced his biggest challenge in the top of the fifth. After starting the frame with a strikeout, he gave up a walk and a single to put runners on first and second. From there, though, the Chiefs southpaw struck out Alex Valdez and induced a Matt Sheely fly out to end the frame unscathed.
Milone held the Red Sox to just a walk through the next two innings before Marrero tacked on another run off Pawtucket reliever Jason Rice in the seventh. Antonelli started the frame with a walk, and Marrero brought him home two batters later with a double off the leftfield wall.
Milone's final start before travelling to Salt Lake City for the International League All-Star game ended after seven shutout innings. He finished the day with six strikeouts and two walks and just the two hits allowed.
The PawSox finally got on the board after his exit when righthander Zech Zinicola stepped to the mound in the eighth. He gave up a bloop double to Alex Valdez to start the frame, and after two-straight outs, Ryan Khoury gave Pawtucket their first run with an RBI double. He then came around to score on a broken-bat single from Lavarnway, but Anderson grounded out to end the run with the score at 6-2.
But the Chiefs ultimately put the game out of reach with RBI singles from Antonelli and Marrero to extend the lead to 8-2. Syracuse righty Josh Wilkie then quickly closed out the game in the ninth by retiring the side in order.
The Chiefs and PawSox will cap off their three-game series with a 7:00 game Friday at Alliance Bank Stadium. Syracuse righty Craig Stammen will battle Pawtucket righthander Kevin Millwood.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.