8-24-11

Chiefs Lose Series Opener

By WEEK Producer

Chiefs Lose Series Opener

August 24, 2011 Updated Aug 24, 2011 at 10:03 PM CDT

The Quad Citiies River Bandits used back-to-back homers in the eighth inning, turned three double plays, and handed the Peoria Chiefs a 4-2 loss on Wednesday. With their fifth straight setback Peoria falls to 22-36 on the half and 55-73 overall on the season.
Quad Cities jumped on the board early with one run in the top of the first against Chiefs’ righty Patrick Francescon. Ronny Gil began the game with a base hit to left, stole second base, and traveled to third on Joey Bergman’s single to right. With runners on the corners and no outs, Oscar Taveras grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that brought Gil home for a 1-0 ballgame.
Both teams traded zeros through the next four innings as each teams’ pitchers settled in. River Bandits’ starter Seth Blair was lights out in his 20th start of the season and allowed just two hits over five innings of work. In the fifth, Richard Jones led off with a long double to left-center field and moved to third when Rafael Valdes flew out to right. But he was stranded 90 feet away as Bergman made a nice play on a ground ball at second to retire Micah Gibbs.
Quad Cities doubled its lead in the top of the sixth inning against the Chiefs’ bullpen. Pete Levitt began the inning in relief of Francescon and retired the first two batters, but hit Chris Edmondson to end his night. Peoria brought in newcomer Yoannis Negrin to escape the inning, but the righty got into trouble early. With one on, Geoff Klein singled on the left side of the infield and Edgar Lara drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. With nowhere to put Patrick Elkins, Negrin plunked the left-handed batter to force in a run.
Peoria answered in its half of the sixth to cut its deficit to one against Bandits’ reliever Drew Benes. John Andreoli led off with a bunt single and Ben Klafczynski put runners at first and second with an infield single on a sharp ball to third. With nobody out, Taiwan Easterling advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Rubi Silva knocked a sacrifice fly to left that scored Andreoli and made it 2-1.
After a scoreless seventh, Quad Cities used back-to-back homers to double its lead once again in the eighth against Negrin. With the bases empty and one out, Klein launched a towering home run to right that cleared the concourse and left the ballpark. Lara, the next batter, drove a 1-2 pitch to straightaway center field that just cleared the wall for another solo shot that made it 3-1.
The Chiefs would not go away however as Peoria responded in the bottom of the eighth with one unearned run. Andreoli reached on a throwing error at short by Gil and Klafczynski sent a base hit to center. After Bandits’ catcher Cody Stanley dropped a foul ball pop up, Easterling grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that sent Andreoli to third. Silva drove in the final run of the game with a RBI single to center that made it 4-2.
Francescon (1-4) suffered the loss in his first pro start with one run allowed on four hits over three innings of work. He did not allow a walk and struck out three batters. Levitt pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief work and allowed one run on one hit. He walked one batter and struck out three. Negrin allowed two runs on four hits over two innings in his Chiefs debut. He walked one batter and struck out five. Roderik Pichardo allowed just one hit over 1 1/3 innings and struck out one batter with no walks.
Article courtesy Peoria Chiefs