GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Peoria Chiefs strung together five straight hits with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to score four runs and break a 2-2 tie Friday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Peoria went on to defeat the Timber Rattlers 7-2 and dim Wisconsin's playoff hopes.
Tyler Roberts put Wisconsin (52-66 overall, 23-30 second half) in front in the bottom of the second inning. Roberts doubled to right to drive in Parker Berberet with two outs and the Rattlers were up 1-0.
Wisconsin made it 2-0 in the third. Michael Reed was hit by a pitch with one out and took second on a wild pitch. Mike Garza followed with a double to left-center.
Peoria (65-55, 27-26) came back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning on back-to-back infield RBI singles. Ildemaro Vargas knocked in the first run and Breyvic Valera tied the game with his infield dribbler.
The Chiefs busted the game open with a two out rally in the top of the seventh against Rattlers reliever Harvey Martin. Valera doubled with two away and nobody on base. Jeremy Schaffer singled through the left side of the infield to get Valera home with the go-ahead run. Jordan Walton was next and he doubled to send Schaffer home. Then, Trevor Martin tripled to center to make the score 5-2. Nick Martini followed with a double to score Martin and the Chiefs were up by four.
Brad Watson, the Chiefs starting pitcher, settled in after the second inning RBI double by Garza. He retired the next eleven batters he faced. Max Walla snapped that streak with a double to start the Wisconsin seventh inning. Orlando Arcia followed with a single to left to put runners on the corners with no outs. That knocked Watson out of the game. But, the Rattlers would not score in the seventh.
Peoria added a run in the top of the eighth inning. Vargas tripled to drive in Charlie Tilson and the Chiefs had a 7-2 lead. That was it for the scoring.
Peoria's win allowed them to stay tied with the Clinton LumberKings for the second half Wild Card spot in the Western Division. Both teams are 27-26 and lead the Timber Rattlers by four games. Clinton's defeat of the Quad Cities River Bandits on Friday night allowed both the Chiefs and LumberKings to move to within 3-1/2 games of the River Bandits for the top second half playoff spot in the Western Division.
The Timber Rattlers begin a road trip on Saturday night at Beloit. Jorge Lopez (6-8, 5.23) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Snappers have Andres Avila (5-3, 5.96) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Game time at Pohlman Field is set for 7:00pm. Catch all of the action on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio night starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
WP: Brad Watson (3-5)
LP: Harvey Martin (2-3)
SAVE: Brad Adamek (1)