SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A one-out single by Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the ninth inning plated the only run of the game and gave the Syracuse Chiefs a 1-0 win over the Gwinnett Braves on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. The Chiefs won the three-game series, 2-1.
With their fifth shutout loss of the season, the G-Braves (52-54) finished the seven-game road trip at 3-4. Though losing the series, Gwinnett claimed the season series with Syracuse, 5-2.
The loss wasted a great performance by Gwinnett starter Andrew Albers, who went 7.0 scoreless innings with six hits, no walks and three strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.92. Evan Phillips (L, 1-3) pitched 1.1 innings with three hits, one earned run and one strikeout.
With Phillips on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, Neftali Soto led off with a double to right. A ground out to second by Chad Huffman moved Soto to third. With a runner on third and the infield pulled in, G-Braves’ shortstop Dansby Swanson knocked down a ground ball headed to left off the bat of Spencer Kieboom. The play enabled Kieboom to reach first but prevented Soto from scoring from third. However, the play only delayed the walk-off win, as the next batter De Aza lined a 1-0 pitch to right, scoring Soto.
Jacob Turner started for Syracuse and turned in 6.0 scoreless, two hit innings while walking three and striking out five. Neal Cotts tossed 1.0 inning with one walk and two strikeouts. Austin Adams worked 1.2 innings with two walks and one strikeout. Neil Ramirez (W, 1-0) pitched a third of an inning for the win.
The G-Braves could only muster two hits on the day, a bunt single by Ozzie Albies and a single to right by Swanson, both in the sixth. Albies and Swanson each finished 1-for-3.
Syracuse (39-67) was led by Kieboom, De Aza and Michael Almanzar, who each tallied two hits.
The G-Braves return to Coolray Field on Monday for a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides. Gwinnett will start right-hander Aaron Blair (6-5, 4.86 ERA) in Monday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener. The Tides will start right-hander Tyler Wilson (3-6, 4.77 ERA).