Bowling Green, KY – The Peoria Chiefs gave up four runs in the third inning and couldn’t recover in a 5-4 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday night. The loss drops the Chiefs to 31-17 in the second half and 64-52 overall but their magic number for a playoff spot also fell, to 12, as Beloit lost at home to West Michigan.
Bowling Green broke a scoreless tie in a big way in the bottom of the third inning off lefty Dewin Perez. Tommy Milone singled and scored on a one-out triple by Coty Blanchard. Hunter Lockwood made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly and Bralin Jackson doubled. Mac James doubled to center for a 3-0 lead and scored on a single by Grant Kay for a 4-0 Hot Rods lead.
The teams traded solo home runs in the fourth inning. Harrison Bader launched a long home run with one out in the top of the inning, his third of the season. Bowling Green’s Christian Toribio answered with a homer to left on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning.
Peoria couldn’t get anything else against starter Jose Mujica but they did close the gap against the Hot Rods bullpen. Oscar Mercado walked with two outs in the eighth against Kyle Bird and Bader reached on a dropped pop up. Alex DeLeon took advantage with a two-run double to right to cut the deficit to 5-3 but Bird got Brian O’Keefe to fly out and end the threat.
Nick Thompson led off the ninth with a walk against closer Brian Miller and moved to second on a wild pitch. Thompson took third on a groundout and scored on a groundout by Kenny peoples-Walls to cut the Hot Rods lead to 5-4. Miller struck out Andrew Sohn to end the game.
Perez (2-4) took the loss allowing five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out four. Jery Then made his Chiefs debut with 2 1/3 shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and struck out three.