Peoria, IL – The Peoria Chiefs swept the Cedar Rapids Kernels with a 3-1 victory Sunday evening. The win propels the Chiefs to a 36-27 record and they lead the Clinton LumberKings by 1 ½ games with seven games left in the first half.
Cedar Rapids took an early lead against Chiefs starter Ryan Helsley. With one out AJ Murray reached on an error, Nelson Molina walked and Chris Ibarra singled to load the bases. JJ Fernandez brought home Murray on a sac fly to give the Kernels a 1-0 advantage.
The Chiefs took the lead in the third against Cedar Rapids starter Dereck Rodriguez, son of former MLB All-Star Ivan Rodriguez. Craig Aikin drew a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a sac bunt and moved to third on a groundout. With two outs, Eli Alvarez singled to tie the game at 1-1. Brian O’Keefe walked, Chris Chinea singled and Jose Godoy lined a two-run single into right-center field to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.
Helsley (6-1) got the win pitching six innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out seven and walking one. Harley Holt pitched two shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Steven De La Cruz picked up his second save as he allowed one hit and struck out one in the ninth
Notes…The Chiefs are nine games over .500 for the first time this year…The Chiefs swept their 3rd home series of the season…The Chiefs are 5-1 against Cedar Rapids this season and the two teams won’t play again until August…Helsley has won his last six decisions…Helsley has a team-high seven quality starts…He has gone at least five innings in every start this season and at least six innings in his last five starts…The Chiefs as a staff have 32 quality starts… Helsley has a 1.94 ERA which is seventh in the MWL…Magneuris Sierra and Brian O’Keefe both ended seven game hit streak…Sierra rolled his right ankle trying to beat out a bunt in the seventh inning and he left the game in the top of the ninth and is listed as day-to-day…Alvarez has 17 multi-hit games…Godoy has five multi-rbi games and nine multi-hit games…His hit with the bases loaded was his first of the season in five at-bats…De La Cruz is tied for the MWL lead with 22 relief appearances…The Chiefs are 11-20 when opponents score first…The Chiefs are 8-7 in two-run games…The Chiefs hit the road for a three-game series with the Clinton LumberKings beginning Monday at 6:30 p.m. as the Chiefs start RH Junior Fernandez (5-3, 2.75) against LumberKings RH Art Warren (6-1, 2.24)…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.