The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, shut down the Gwinnett Braves 4-2 on Thursday night behind a standout pitching performance from starter Craig Stammen. The righthander fired eight and one-third strong innings, allowing just two runs (one earned), in the longest outing of the season for any Syracuse hurler.
Syracuse (29-42) struck first with a run in the third inning. Steve Lombardozzi singled with one out, the first of his three hits on the night. After a Matt Antonelli single, Jesus Valdez grounded into a fielder's choice forceout to second base. Lombardozzi scored to put the Chiefs ahead 1-0.
The Chiefs added a run in the sixth after Valdez and Chris Marrero singled, Tug Hulett sacrifice bunted, and Jeff Frazier walked to load the bases. A scary sight then accompanied the Syracuse run when Jesus Flores lined a single off of Braves starting pitcher Erik Cordier. Cordier was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Syracuse tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth inning against reliever Anthony Varvaro. Marrero and Hulett both collected RBI singles with the bases loaded to extend the lead to four.
But Gwinnett (38-35) had a few runs left in the tank. With one out in the ninth, Matt Young singled to center field. Stefan Gartrell then lined a single to right, moving Young to third, and after a throwing error by Jesus Valdez, Young scored and Gartrell went to third. Josh Wilkie then relieved Stammen and allowed an RBI single to Mauro Gomez, making the score 4-2. But the righthander struck out Brandon Hicks and retired Diory Hernandez on a groundout to close out his sixth save.
The Chiefs head home for the first time in nine games Friday night at 7:00. Syracuse will battle Rochester with righthander Yunesky Maya set to start against Red Wings lefty Ryan Mullins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.