The Peoria Chiefs allowed runs in each of the first three innings on Thursday night and fell to the Lake County Captains, 10-2. The loss dropped the Chiefs to 8-12 in the second half (41-49 overall) and evened up the series at 1-1 heading into the rubber match on Friday.
Lake County built an early lead against Chiefs’ starter Austin Kirk with a three-run opening frame. With one out, LeVon Washington knocked a base hit up the middle and Jordan Casas lined a single into left before Giovanny Urshela made it 1-0 with a RBI single to center. Rubi Silva fielded the ball in center field, but his throw to the plate was off line and Casas moved to third. Ronny Rodriguez added a pair of runs with a two-out double into left-center field that made it 3-0 in Kirk’s first inning at home since his nine-inning no-hitter on July 4.
Another RBI double in the top of the second extended the Captains lead to 4-0 against the Chiefs’ lefty. Nick Bartolone led off with a bunt single and traveled to second when Moises Montero grounded out. Carlos Moncrief brought the run home with a one-out double to right before Casas grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Chiefs threatened for the first time in their half of the second as Micah Gibbs and Ben Klafczynski ripped back-to-back singles. With two down, Arismendy Alcantara lined a base hit into right field and Gibbs attempted to score from second, but was thrown out at the plate by Moncrief in right to end the inning.
Lake County added two more runs in the third and increased Peoria’s deficit to 6-0 with the help of three hits in the frame. Jesus Aguilar led off with a solo home run into the left field berm and Urshela drove a double down the left field line to begin the frame. After a couple of quick outs, Bartolone knocked a RBI single to Alcantara at short.
The Chiefs got on the board for the first time in the bottom half of the third with one run against Captains’ starter Cole Cook. Rubi Silva lined a single into right and Ryan Cuneo drew a one-out walk in front Greg Rohan. Rohan grounded into a force out at second base and Silva scored on a throwing error by Rodriguez.
After a scoreless fourth, both teams added a run in the fifth inning. In the top half, Aguilar led off with his second homer of the game over the left field wall, this time against Chiefs’ reliever Robinson Lopez. Peoria responded in the bottom half as Rubi Silva tripled past a diving Moncrief in right field. With one out, Cuneo made it 7-2 with a RBI groundout to short that brought Silva home from 90 feet away.
The Captains continued to pile the runs on late as Lake County scored twice in the sixth and once in the eighth. In the top half of the sixth, Bartolone and Montero notched back-to-back base hits to begin the frame and Moncrief walked to load the bases. With one out, Washington lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center that scored Bartolone before right-hander Daniel Berlind replaced Lopez on the mound. After Casas popped out, Berlind heaved a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Montero to score for a 9-2 score. In the eighth, Bartolone led off with a double to right and Washington brought the runner home with a two-out RBI double to left for the final run of the game.
Kirk (5-6) suffered the loss with six runs allowed, all earned, on ten hits. He walked one batter and struck out a pair. Lopez allowed three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. He walked one batter with no strikeouts. Berlind pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run on two hits. He did not allow a walk and struck out two batters. P.J. Francescon entered the game in the ninth and struck out all batters he faced.
Article courtesy Peoria Chiefs