CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Jeremy Schaffer grand slam in the top of the 9th inning ultimately propelled the Peoria Chiefs to a 10-9 win over the Kernels on Sunday afternoon. Sunday's contest was the last of the first half.
Dalton Hicks singled home Niko Goodrum in the bottom of the 1st to put the Kernels up 1-0 after 1. Goodrum, Jorge Polanco, and Hicks all singled in the frame. Goodrum played for the first time in two weeks on Sunday after being on the disabled list due to a concussion, which was sustained via a collision at home plate with Kane County catcher Wilson Contreras on June 2.
Peoria responded in the top of the 2nd as the first four batters reached base against Kernels starter Mason Melotakis. Nick Martini singled home Jordan Walton and Patrick Wisdom scored on a double play groundout by Brett Wiley, giving the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.
The Kernels shook up the line score in the 4th when Byron Buxton hit a line smash up the middle to score Travis Harrison, who got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Goodrum followed Buxton with a single to score J.D. Williams, which put the Kernels up 3-2.
An RBI single by Breyvic Valera and an RBI squeeze bunt by Ildemaro Vargas pushed across 2 runs for Peoria in the 5th to take the lead, 4-3.
After leaving two runners in scoring position in the 5th, the Kernels struck big offensively in the 6th. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jorge Polanco recorded an RBI sacrifice fly. With two runners still aboard, Dalton Hicks powered a 3-run home run over the right field wall and onto Rockford Road to give the Kernels a 7-4 advantage.
Melotakis walked the first two batters in the 7th, but only Brent Wiley came around to score as reliever Tyler Jones finished the frame, Kernels holding a 7-5 lead.
Hicks sent around 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th with a 2-run double. The 6 RBI for Hicks is a career high. The first baseman finished 3-for-4. Goodrum finished 3-for-4 in his return. Polanco and Williams also had multi-hit games, each going 2-for-4. Williams also scored twice.
The Chiefs tied the game in the 9th, however, with the grand slam by Schaffer. A couple batters later, Patrick Wisdom recorded an RBI single to give Peoria a 10-9 advantage.
Melotakis finished with 6.1 innings pitched, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2. Tyler Jones was charged with 2 runs in 2 innings while Josue Montanez (1-1) took the loss, allowing the grand slam. Alex Muren pitched 0.2 inning, allowing 0 runs.
Chiefs reliever Joe Donofrio (4-0) posted the win while Dixon Llorens recorded the save by striking out the side in the 9th.
Thursday, June 20 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers - 7:05 p.m.
Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium
Radio: KMRY 1450 AM/93.1 FM & www.kernels.com
NEXT HOME GAME: Tuesday, June 25 v. Burlington Bees (Angels) - 12:05 p.m.
Promotions: Great Clips Twins Tuesday! Get an online coupon from the Kernels Facebook page or email newsletter for a 2-for-1 ticket offer! The Kernels will wear replica Twins jerseys! It's Good Ol'Day at the Ballpark! Come enjoy a $7 lunch special!
Tickets: Available at www.kernels.com or at the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium, 319-896-7650 (Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2)