The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, used an 11-run second inning to blast the Durham Bulls, 16-3, on Saturday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Syracuse sent 17 batters to the plate in a 10-hit, three-walk, one-hit-batter inning and ran away with their fifth straight win. The Chiefs retained sole possession of Triple-A's best record with the win.
Syracuse (45-30) grabbed an early run against Bulls starter Alex Colome, who had allowed two runs in four Durham starts this year, in the first inning. Will Rhymes singled and Zach Walters walked to start the game. Two batters later, Tyler Moore lined a broken-bat single to center field, plating Rhymes for a 1-0 lead.
Durham (43-34) would respond in the bottom of the frame against James Simmons. Hak-Ju Lee started the inning with a first-pitch bunt single, advanced to second base on a groundout, stole third and scored on a Mikie Mahtook sacrifice fly.
In the second, the Chiefs opened the floodgates. After a Brian Goodwin single, Brock Peterson lined an RBI double to right field. Josh Johnson's bunt single followed and advanced Peterson to third base, and Rhymes followed that with an RBI single to center for a 3-1 lead. After Walters was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Steven Souza, Jr. clubbed a two-run double to left-center field, plating Johnson and Rhymes for a 5-1 lead. Two batters later, Jhonatan Solano singled off the 32-foot "Blue Monster" in left field, bringing in Walters and Souza to extend the lead to six. After a Brandon Laird walk, Durham manager Charlie Montoyo removed Colome in favor of Doug Mathis.
The right-hander out of the bullpen would run into trouble as well. After a Goodwin strikeout, Peterson singled to load the bases and Johnson walked on four pitches to force in the inning's seventh run. Rhymes followed with a two-run single to center field, extending the Syracuse lead to 10-1. After a Walters walk, Souza singled to center for his second two-run hit of the frame. Johnson and Rhymes touched home with the inning's final runs, extending the Syracuse advantage to 12-1.
The Chiefs grabbed a fourth-inning run charged to right-hander Doug Mathis. With the bases loaded and two outs, Goodwin reached on an error by second baseman Mike Fontenot, scoring Souza.
Syracuse's final tallies came in a three-run ninth against Durham infielder Robbie Price. Jose Lozada, Souza and Moore drove in runs in a five-hit inning to conclude the scoring.
Those runs were far more than enough for right-hander James Simmons, who earned the win in his second Syracuse start. Simmons tossed seven innings of three-run ball, surrendering just five hits and one walk. He struck out five and earned his first Triple-A win since 2012.
The Chiefs look for a sixth straight win on Sunday evening at 5:05 PM. Syracuse right-hander Blake Treinen and Durham right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, pitching on major-league rehab, are the scheduled starters.