PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs stopped the three-game winning streak of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers with a 3-1 victory at Dozer Park on Wednesday night. The Chiefs, who currently hold the second half Western Division Wild Card spot, knocked the Rattlers farther back in the playoff chase.
Peoria (61-51 overall, 23-22 second half) grabbed the lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Jordan Walton doubled to start the frame. Jeremy Schaffer followed with a single to right to put runners on the corners. Bruce Caldwell drove in Schaffer with a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin (48-62, 19-26) tied the game in the top of the fifth. Orlando Arcia singled and stole second. Chris McFarland tripled to the gap in right-center to send Arcia home with the tying run.
But, the Chiefs went back in front in the bottom of the fifth. Juan Herrera singled and stole second against reliever Chris Razo to start the inning. Razo struck out Jonathan Keener, the next batter in the order, but a wild pitch let Herrera take third and Keener to reach base. Charlie Tilson grounded into a force out at second to get Herrera home for a 2-1 advantage.
Peoria added an insurance run in the sixth inning. Breyvic Valera singled and stole second to start the inning. Walton singled to right to drive in Valera and the Chiefs were up 3-1.
Perry scattered seven hits over seven innings, walked none, and struck out four to put himself in position for the win.
Joe Donofrio took over for Perry in the top of the eighth and struck out the side in order.
Michael Reed started the top of the ninth with an infield single. Reed, who had two hits in four trips to the plate in the game, extended his current hitting streak to thirteen games. But, Donofrio would not let the Rattlers rally as he struck out the next two batters and got the final out of the game on a fly ball to left.
The loss dropped the Timber Rattlers four games behind the Chiefs in the race for the second half Western Division Wild Card spot with 25 games remaining in the season.
Game two of the series at Dozer Park is scheduled for Thursday night. Ryan Gibbard (4-3, 5.15) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Silfredo Garcia (3-4, 4.76) is set to start for the Chiefs. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
WP: Chris Perry (2-1)
LP: Chris Razo (1-1)
SAVE: Joe Donofrio (5)