Peoria, IL- The Peoria Chiefs went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and couldn't erase a two-run deficit in a 3-2 loss to the Clinton LumberKings Thursday night. The Chiefs drop to 65-70 on the year and 29-37 in the second half needing a win in Friday's finale against the LumberKings to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Chiefs scored quickly against Dylan Unsworth to grab a lead in the bottom of the first. C.J. McElroy Jr. reached on an error to lead off and Nick Martini brought him home with double to the right-field corner. The two-bagger put the Chiefs up 1-0 before the next three batters were retired stranding Martini at second.
The LumberKings jumped on top with three runs on four singles against Mike Mayers in the second inning. Gaby Guerrero reached on a lead-off base-knock and advanced to second on a ground out. With two outs Zach Shank singled to drive in Guerrero and moved to second on the throw home. Shank made his way to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Brock Hebert single. Hebert stole second and scored on a Marcus Littlewood base-knock to put the LumberKings up 3-1 before Mayers got out of the inning.
After their run in the first inning the Chiefs offense was held at bay until the seventh frame against Oliver Garcia. Jordan Walton singled to lead off the inning and moved to second as Trevor Martin walked. Both base runners moved up a bag as an Ildemaro Vargas fly ball to centerfield was misplayed, loading the bases with one out. Gerwuins Velazco brought home Walton with a sac fly to center and Martin advanced to third on the throw. After McElroy walked to once again load the bases, Martini hit a line drive of the leg of Garcia, who picked the ball up in front of the mound and threw out Martini ending the Chiefs threat with the LumberKings leading 3-2.
The Chiefs just missed tying the game in the bottom of the eighth against Richard Vargas. With one out Jeremy Schaffer and Walton hit back-to-back singles putting a pair aboard. Both runners moved up on Martin's ground out to the right side of the infield, but were stranded there as Juan Herrera bounced out to short ending the frame. The Chiefs were unable to scrap across the tying run in the ninth, losing 3-2 to the LumberKings.
Mayers (0-3) pitched 3 2/3 before hitting his pitch count, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out one. Joe Scanio pitched a career-high 4 1/3 scoreless innings giving up one hit and one walk while striking out two. Dixon Llorens struck out the side in the ninth inning.
Notes… Martini recorded his 22nd multi-hit game and is 6-for-11 in the series...Walton notched his 30th multi-hit game of the year…Eleven Chiefs were retired in a row prior to Walton's single in the seventh…Peoria has scored 78 runs in the first inning this year, more than any other frame…Scanio has struck out a batter in nine straight appearances…Llorens has pitched 27 1/3 straight scoreless innings dating back to June 14…The Chiefs left a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings….The Chiefs were 0-for-11 with RISP and left nine on base…Velazco's sac fly was his second of the season…With Leandro Mateo pinch running in the ninth inning, the Chiefs have set a team record for most non-rehab players used in a season with 57…The Chiefs leader in hits, Breyvic Valera, missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury…The Chiefs trail their season series with Clinton 9-6…The Chiefs need a win in the series finale against Clinton to keep their playoff hopes alive…The Chiefs close out their series with the LumberKings with their final home game at 6:30 p.m. Friday…It is Flat Screen Friday where six different fans 18 and over will win a brand new Flat Screen TV presented by Xfinity…Friday is also Fan Appreciation Day and fireworks will take place following the game…The Chiefs LH Kyle Helisek (7-6, 3.16) takes on Clinton RH Rigoberto Garcia (1-5, 5.64)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Premier Print Group 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.
Contact: Nathan Bal