Cedar Rapids, IA – The Peoria Chiefs allowed three homers in the first four innings and lost to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 12-4 on Friday night. Despite the loss the Chiefs stayed in a playoff spot with a 37-31 record and have a magic number of two with two games left.
The hosts got the scoring going with a pair of early home runs against Chiefs starter Evan Guillory. Last year’s first overall draft pick, Royce Lewis, launched a solo homer completely out of the stadium with one out in the first for a 1-0 Kernels lead. Robby Rinn snuck a solo homer just over the high wall in left field to lead off the second as the Kernels doubled the lead. With one out Andrew Bechtold doubled and scored on a single by Trey Cabbage for a 3-0 lead.
Peoria got the offense going in the third against lefty Bryan Sammons. Fresh off the disabled list, Rayder Ascanio doubled to left in his first at-bat since April 12. Jose Martinez got the Chiefs on the board with a single to right but Sammons stranded a runner at third base to escape the inning.
The Chiefs got a run closer in the fourth but lost a runner on the bases as well. Dennis Ortega led off with a walk and moved to second on a Sammons wild pitch. With one down Bryce Denton drove in Ortega with a single to center but he was thrown out at second on the play and the Chiefs ended the inning trailing 3-2.
Cedar Rapids took advantage of an error to break the game open in the fourth. With a runner on second, first baseman Yariel Gonzalez dropped a throw from Ascanio to put two runners on base with nobody out. Trey Cabbage doubled to put the Kernels on top 5-2 and with one out Lewis singled home two more. After a flyout, Jose Miranda crushed a long homer to left for a 9-2 Kernels lead on their third homer of the night.
The Chiefs got a run back in the top of the fifth. After a double play erased Ascanio before Scott Hurst walked. Irving Lopez singled to center to put two on base and Hurst scored on a single by Elehuris Montero.
Cedar Rapids went right back to it in the fifth as a single and two walks loaded the bases with nobody out. Andrew Summerville relieved Guillory and walked in a run before Lewis singled home a run to give the Kernels an 11-3 lead. The Kernels made it 12-3 on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Miranda.
The Chiefs got a homer of their own in the seventh inning as Hurst went deep against reliever Melvi Acosta. The leadoff homer is the third of the season for Hurst and the second straight road game in which he has gone deep.
Guillory (6-5) took the loss as he allowed 12 runs, nine earned, on 13 hits as he pitched into the fifth inning. Guillory walked two, struck out three and allowed three homers. Summerville allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one as three inherited runners scored against him. Zach Prendergast, who came off the DL on Friday, retired all six batters he faced with two strikeouts in his first outing since May 23. Kodi Whitley allowed a walk and struck out one in his scoreless and hitless inning.
Notes…The Chiefs are one game behind Quad Cities in the standings and tied for the wild card spot with Clinton as two of those three teams will make the playoffs from the first half…The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over Clinton but not against QC…Hurst has an eight-game hit streak, two off his season high…Denton had his second 3-hit game of the season…The hits, runs and home runs allowed were all career-highs against Guillory…The 13 hits allowed are the most by any Chiefs pitcher since Robert Hernandez allowed a franchise-record 16 on August 7, 2007 at home against Great Lakes…The earned runs are the most since Frederis Parra also allowed nine on August 16, 2017 against Quad Cities…Martinez started at third base for the first time since committing two errors at third against Burlington on June 16, 2017…In 374 professional games, Martinez has started just nine games at third base…The Kernels have out-homered the Chiefs 8-2 in five games this season…They have won all five games against the Chiefs and have scored at least eight runs in four of those games…The series continues Saturday at 6:35 p.m. as the Chiefs will start RH Alvaro Seijas (1-3, 4.55) against Kernels RH Edwar Colina (2-2, 4.26)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:20 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network on the Tune-In Radio App.