Syracuse Chiefs (32-34) starting pitcher Zach Duke has appeared in 181 Major League games and in Thursday night's series opening win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (37-30), he proved why he has so many Big League innings. The former Pittsburgh Pirate tossed 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, leading the Chiefs to a 10-0 victory over the Yankees at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse.
Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, halting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Adam Warren's consecutive scoreless inning streak at 16. Erik Komatsu crushed a sacrifice fly near the foul line in deep left field allowing Seth Bynum to trot in from third. Mark Teahen then came up and cashed in Jeff Howell with an RBI double right-center, extending the Chiefs lead to 2-0 after 2 innings of play.
The Chiefs came back with two more runs in the top half of the fourth. Xavier Paul led off the inning with a rocket double to the gap in right-center and Carlos Rivera drew a walk setting up runners on first and second with nobody out for Jarrett Hoffpauir. The Chiefs second basemen roped an RBI single down the left field line bringing home Paul from third. The Chiefs weren't done there as Rivera came home on a Howell sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Syracuse exploded for five runs in the top half of the sixth inning off of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reliever Manny Delcarmen. Of the five runs Delcarmen surrendered in the inning, just one of them was earned. Bynum provided the first run for the Chiefs with a two-RBI triple off the left-centerfield wall. With two outs in the inning, Komatsu followed with an RBI single to right, while Xavier Paul capped the five-run sixth inning with a two-RBI single to center making it a 9-0 advantage for the Chiefs. Brett Carroll provided the final run for Syracuse with a solo shot over the left-centerfield wall, to extend the Chiefs lead to 10-0.
Adam Warren suffered the loss for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre falling to 4-4 on the season with an ERA of 4.12. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out two. Mike O'Connor was the bright spot for the Yankees as he threw 2 1/3 innings retiring all seven hitters he faced, while striking out three. Duke earned the win for the Chiefs improving to 7-3 on the season, as he tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing six hits, while walking just one and striking out six.
Thursday night marks just the seventh time the Yankees have been shutout this season. The Yankees and Chiefs continue their four game series at Alliance Bank Stadium Friday night at 7:00. Right-hander Dellin Betances (3-5, 5.92) gets the nod for the Yankees, while Mitch Atkins (5-5, 4.32) heads to the hill for the Chiefs.