The Peoria Chiefs received a strong debut from right-hander Starling Peralta, but allowed four runs in the fifth to the Clinton LumberKings and fell 5-3 on Tuesday night. The loss dropped Peoria to 4-8 in the second half (37-45 overall) and marked the first time the Chiefs have lost a series to Clinton this year.
Another duel of starting pitchers began when both clubs traded zeros through the first three innings until Clinton grabbed a 1-0 lead against Chiefs’ newcomer Starling Peralta. With one out in the fourth, Stefan Romero belted a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall, which was the first hit Peoria had allowed in its last 13 innings dating back to the 10th inning on Sunday.
Pete Levitt replaced Peralta in the top of the sixth and the LumberKings took a commanding lead with four runs against the right-hander. Robbie Anston lined a base hit into left and Carlos Ramirez walked ore Stefan Romero made it 3-0 with a two-run triple to deep center field. Matt Browning became the fourth straight hitter to reach and extended the advantage with a RBI single to left that scored Romero. After a pair of groundouts left Kalian Sams at third base, Mike McGee tacked on the final run of the inning with a RBI double over Rubi Silva’s head in right for a 5-0 lead.
Peoria threatened in the bottom half of the sixth, but LumberKings starter George Mieses pitched his way out of a jam en route to his longest outing of the year. Matt Szczur and Silva notched back-to-back singles to begin the inning and Ryan Cuneo drew a two-out walk to load the bases, but Micah Gibbs sent a fly ball into right field for the third out.
The Chiefs broke through in the bottom of the eighth and avoided the shutout with a three-run frame. Szczur drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a balk before Richard Jones brought him home with a RBI single to right. With two down, Cuneo extended the inning with a double to right and Gibbs made it 5-3 with a two-run single against Clinton reliever Tyler Burgoon. Burgoon bounced back to strike out Brandon May in a nine-pitch at bat to keep the tying run of the basepaths. Peoria went in order in the ninth as Burgoon nailed down his ninth save of the season.
Peralta (0-1) tied a career-high with five innings pitched, but suffered the loss in his Chiefs’ debut. He allowed just one run on two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Levitt allowed four runs on four hits in one inning of work. He also walked one hitter. Alvaro Sosa entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed just one hit in two innings pitched. He did not walk or strikeout a batter. P.J. Francescon pitched the final inning and allowed one hit with one strikeout.
article courtesy Peoria Chiefs