The Syracuse Chiefs topped the Rochester Red Wings 2-0 on Sunday to grab the first two wins in a four-game, two-city series. The game was the second straight shutout for the Chiefs.
When the series began, the Chiefs had the worst ERA in the International League and the worst record. Syracuse has only six shutouts this season, but three have come in the last eight games.
Syracuse (33-49) started the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Brian Jeroloman led off the frame with a double. He moved to third base on a Josh Johnson sacrifice bunt. Will Rhymes then hit a single to left field that scored Jeroloman to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs tallied another run in the fourth inning. Chris Rahl led off the frame with a single. Zach Walters then doubled to left field to score Rahl from first base and put the Chiefs up 2-0.
Rochester (41-44) threatened the Syracuse lead in the eighth inning. Chiefs relief pitcher Mike Crotta faced a bases-loaded, two-out jam with Doug Bernier at the plate. However, Crotta got Bernier to strike out swinging to end the frame.
For the second straight night, Syracuse got a strong performance by its starting pitcher. Caleb Clay tossed six scoreless innings, struck out three batters and gave up just three hits to earn his first win as a Chief. Jeff Mandel, Xavier Cedeno and Crotta combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief and preserve the win for Syracuse.
On the other side, Rochester starter Liam Hendriks took the hard-luck loss. He threw a complete-game eight innings, allowed two runs and struck out four.
The Chiefs and the Red Wings are back in action on Monday at 7:05, but the teams move to Rochester for the final two games of the set. Right-hander Yunesky Maya takes the hill for Syracuse, while right-hander Cole De Vries goes for Rochester.