The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, shut out the Gwinnett Braves for the second straight night with a 7-0 victory on Sunday at Coolray Field. Starter Jeff Mandel became the second straight Syracuse starter to toss a complete-game shutout, following John Lannan's Saturday-night performance with a 102-pitch masterpiece.
Syracuse (65-71) blasted Braves starter Yohan Flande in the fateful third inning, collecting five straight hits to score the frame's four runs. With one out, Josh Johnson started the rally with a single to center field before Chris Marrero singled him to second base. Third baseman Carlos Rivero then drilled the seventh pitch of his at-bat into left field for another single. As Johnson scored, Marrero headed to third base, and third baseman Terry Tiffee couldn't scoop the throw there from left fielder Josh Kroeger. The missed catch error on Tiffee allowed Marrero to score and Rivero, who had ran to second base on the throw, to advance to third. Left fielder Jesus Valdez followed with an RBI single to center field, scoring Rivero for a 3-0 lead. Catcher Sandy Leon would then deliver the inning's final blow with a double down the left-field line, giving Syracuse a 4-0 advantage. Two batters later, Flande was removed, after two and two-thirds innings of six-hit, four-run ball.
The Chiefs added some insurance runs in the late innings. In the seventh, Johnson singled to lead off the frame against left-hander Ryan Buchter before stealing second base. Two batters later, Rivero singled to center field to knock him home, extending the Syracuse lead to five runs.
Syracuse then plated a pair of additional runs in the eighth inning. With two runners aboard and one out, center fielder Eury Perez laced a triple up the gap in left-center field, scoring Brett Carroll and Mandel for a 7-0 lead. The three-base-hit was Perez' first Triple-A triple.
That run support was more than enough for Mandel, who faced minimal trouble in a sensational performance. Gwinnett (61-75) had no answer for the right-hander, who held the Braves to six hits in his nine innings, striking out four without a single walk. Mandel induced three double plays and faced just two batters over the minimum in the game.
Mandel's complete-game shutout was the third for a Syracuse starter since August 11, when Zach Duke aced the Lehigh Valley IronPigs while allowing just three hits. Lannan, who tossed on Saturday night, also surrendered just three hits in his performance. The Chiefs had previously had no complete game-shutouts by an individual pitcher since Garrett Mock on June 22, 2009, before this month.
Syracuse stays on the road next to face the Charlotte Knights in a four-game series beginning on Monday night at 7:15. Chiefs right-hander Tanner Roark is scheduled to start against Knights right-hander Dylan Axelrod.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.