GENEVA, ILL - With Chicago Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney and infielder Luis Valbuena batting in the top two spots in the lineup, the Kane County Cougars were shutout by the Peoria Chiefs 9-0 on Saturday night in front of a season-high 12,335 fans at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Sweeney, working his way back from a fractured rib, went 1-for-4 out of the leadoff spot. He looped a leadoff single into left in the eighth and grounded into a double play in the third. Valbuena, batting in the two hole on his way back from a strained oblique, went 1-for-3. He smashed a single in the third, walked in the sixth and grounded into a double play in the eighth inning.
Cory Jones (W, 8-2) shut down the Cougars (23-44, 53-80) over six innings of work. The righty allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out five. Steve Sabatino (S, 1) worked a spotless final three innings while walking two and striking out five.
In the Chiefs (29-38, 68-67) third inning, Nick Martini drove in the game's first run when he lined a triple down the first base line to bring Gerwuins Velazco into score. Breyvic Velera followed with an RBI single off Cougars starter James Pugliese (L, 0-2). The big blow came with two outs on a Trevor Martin three-run bomb to left to give the Chiefs a 5-0 advantage.
The Chiefs tacked on one more run against Stephen Perakslis in the fourth. In the ninth, Kenny Socorro allowed three runs on four hits and one error.
The Cougars take on the Peoria Chiefs at 6:30 on Sunday evening in the second game of the final series of the year. Left-hander Nathan Dorris (6-3) will start for the Cougars against right-hander Chris Perry (2-3). For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.