Stephen Strasburg hurled seven strikeouts in five-plus innings as the Syracuse Chiefs (61-71), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Rochester Red Wings (50-86) 4-3 Saturday at Alliance Bank Stadium.
Strasburg was perfect through five innings before giving up two hits to start the sixth. One of those runners came around to score but that was the only run he allowed in the contest.
The righty started the game by striking out Rochester leadoff man Brandon Roberts with a nasty curveball. He got two groundouts to end the inning before the Chiefs quickly gave him some run support.
Roger Bernadina stepped to the plate and launched a home run into the tall grass well beyond the right field wall. Red Wings starter Andy Baldwin recovered to retire the next three batters and keep the score at 1-0.
In the second, Strasburg dealt his best inning of the game. He fired three straight strikeouts to put down the side in order.
The dominance continued through the fifth as the pitching phenom retired each of the first 15 batters he faced. The Red Wings only hit one ball out of the infield through the first five, and that came on Brian Dinkelman's fly out to left in the fifth.
The only real chance for a hit Rochester had in that span came in the third. But Syracuse second baseman Steve Lombardozzi gave Strasburg some help, scooping up a groundball near second base and successfully turning a jump throw to retire Aaron Bates.
Strasburg's perfect start was finally broken up, though, in the sixth. Aaron Bates and Steve Holm started the frame with back-to-back singles before Strasburg left the game to a standing ovation. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks and gave up just those two hits.
Chiefs righty Craig Stammen stepped to the mound in relief, but Toby Gardenhire laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Roberts then drew a walk to load the bases, and Ray Chang lined a single to center that evened the score at 1-1.
With the bases still loaded, Lombardozzi snagged a line drive from Dustin Martin for the second out. The Red Wings nearly stepped in front, but Matt Antonelli made a diving catch on Jeff Bailey's liner down the third base line to keep the score tied.
The Chiefs had struggled to get on base against the Rochester righty Baldwin through five, but they also picked up a run in the sixth. Corey Brown rolled a single up the middle to start the inning. Bernadina then crushed a double to deep left-center that brought Brown home for the 2-1 lead.
Syracuse added to their lead after Red Wings reliever Cole DeVries took over on the mound in the seventh. Jhonatan Solano's RBI double made it 3-1, and he came home to score later in the inning on Lombardozzi's two-out single.
But Rochester threatened to rally in the eighth. They loaded the bases against Stammen with two singles and a walk before lefty Lee Hyde took over. He walked in a run to make the score 4-2, struck out the next two batters and walked in another run before Garrett Mock stepped in. He struck out Bates to end the inning and salvage Syracuse's one-run lead.
Josh WIlkie entered in the ninth, and despite giving up two singles, he blanked the Red Wings to save the win.
Syracuse next travels to Lehigh Valley for a matchup with the IronPigs at 7:05 Sunday. Chiefs righty Brad Peacock will take the mound against Lehigh Valley righty Scott Mathieson.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.