Burlington, IA – The Peoria Chiefs scored in each of the first three innings Thursday night to beat the Burlington Bees 6-4 and take the series. The win moves the Chiefs to 33-27 on the season, just a half game behind the Cedar Rapids Kernels who they host Friday night.
The Chiefs wasted little time in getting on the board against Burlington starter Jaime Barria. Edmundo Sosa singled with one out in the first inning and scored on a triple to left-center by Eli Alvarez. Brian O’Keefe reached on an error at second base and was credited with a RBI as Alvarez scored on the play for a 2-0 lead.
Peoria added on in the second inning thanks to the Bees defense. Vaughn Bryan singled with two outs and Magneuris Sierra singled to right. Bryan came all the way around for a 3-0 lead as Michael Hermosillo bobble the ball in right for a two-base error.
Burlington caught up in the third inning against Chiefs starter Derian Gonzalez. After a 6-4-3 double play, Hermosillo singled to left and Webster Rivas delivered a RBI double to center. Jake Yacinich singled home Rivas for a 3-2 Chiefs lead and Jared Foster tied the game with a double to left.
The game wasn’t tied for long as the Chiefs went right back to work in the third. O’Keefe doubled to left-center after Alvarez was caught stealing second. RJ Dennard singled to right to put runners on the corner and he moved to second on a wild pitch. Jose Godoy singled up the middle to score both O’Keefe and Dennard for a 5-3 Chiefs lead.
Peoria added on in the sixth against reliever Winston Lavendier. Thomas Spitz singled with one out and Dylan Becker drew a walk. Bryan hit a fly ball to right-center which was caught by Hermosillo but he collided with Foster and fell down allowing Spitz to score all the way from second on a sacrifice fly. Sosa singled to left with two outs but Becker was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with the Chiefs on top 6-3.
Burlington didn’t go quietly against Jorge Rodriguez in the ninth. Foster tripled on a two-out full count pitch to keep the game alive. Sanger cut the Chiefs lead to 6-4 before Tyler Bray came out of the bullpen to replace Rodriguez. Bray got Jared Walsh to flyout to center to end the game.
Gonzalez allowed three runs on a career-high 10 hits over five innings. He struck out two, walked three and threw a wild pitch. Harley Holt allowed two hits over two shutout innings while striking out one. Rodriguez allowed one run on three hits over 1 2/3 innings as he struck out one. Bray retired the only batter he faced for his third save.
Notes…Sierra head his team-best 24th multi-hit game and he leads the MWL with 72 hits…Sosa had two hits for the second straight game…Alvarez leads the Chiefs with five triples and 29 RBI…The five triples are tied for third in the MWL…Those three were a combined 7-for-15 at the top of the lineup…All nine Chiefs starters had at least one hit…The 92 degree temperature at first pitch is the hottest of the season for the Chiefs…The Chiefs turned three double plays, one off their season high…Gonzalez allowed a career-high 10 hits which is also the most hits allowed by a Chiefs starter in 2016…All four Burlington runs scored with two outs…The Bees outhit the Chiefs 15-13 with four doubles and a triple…The Chiefs are 9-10 in the last game of a series, 6-4 on the road…The Chiefs are 22-1 when scoring five runs or more this season…The Chiefs are 5-2 against the Bees this season with four games in Peoria next weekend to finish the first half…The Chiefs are ½ game behind Cedar Rapids for first place and lead Clinton by ½ game in the wild card race with 10 games left…The Chiefs head home to start a three-game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels…The series opens Friday at 7:00 p.m. as the Chiefs start RH Sandy Alcantara (4-4, 5.21) against Kernels RH Cody Stashak (3-3, 2.9)…There will be a post-game Fireworks show and Dueling Pianos will perform during and after the game…Friday is Illinois Cancer Care Night with a Joe Maddon caricature t-shirt giveaway to the first 1000 fans 13 and older…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android…The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App.