CEDAR RAPIDS, IA- The Peoria Chiefs used two big innings to rally past the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a Tuesday double header sweep winning game one 4-3 and game two 6-4. The Chiefs scored three runs in the fifth inning of game one and five runs in the third inning of game two to improve to 21-15 on the season.
"Anytime you go on the road, especially after an off day and rainout, and battle to get a win it is a good thing and today we got two" said Chiefs manager Joe Kruzel.
The Chiefs got off to a great start in game one as Juan Herrera singled with one out and stole second. Carson Kelly singled Herrera to third and Ronald Castillo put the Chiefs up 1-0 with a RBI fielder's choice.
Alex Reyes did not allow a hit through the first three innings as the Chiefs maintained a 1-0 lead. With two outs in the fourth, Chad Christensen drew a walk from Reyes and Bryan Haar singled. Jason Kanzler doubled to center for a 2-1 Kernels lead and he came around to score on a stolen base and throwing error by Kelly.
Down 3-1, the Chiefs came right back in the top of the fifth. Herrera doubled with one out and scored on a double by Kelly. Kenny Peoples-Walls tied the game with a two-out single to center and Cesar Valera put the Chiefs on top 4-3 with a double to center.
Reyes (3-1) earned the win with two hits and two earned runs allowed over six innings. He struck out seven, walked four and hit a batter. Zach Loraine earned his third save of the season with a perfect seventh inning and a strikeout.
"We had good at-bats today in both games and Alex kept us in that first game, it was huge to take the lead right back," said Kruzel. "He calmed the game down and we had the big inning."
After the Chiefs hit into a double play in the top of the first inning of game two, Cedar Rapids scored against Arturo Reyes. J.D Williams started the bottom of the first with a single and two outs later, Bryan Haar clubbed a homer to straightaway center field.
Matthew Young drew a leadoff walk in the third inning against Josue Montanez and scored on a one-out double by Michael Schulze to get the Chiefs on the board. McElroy walked and Valera was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Herrera tripled to right-center to clear the bases for a 4-2 lead before scoring on a groundout by Castillo.
The Kernels picked up more two-out runs in the fifth inning. Haar singled to center and Reyes hit Mitch Garver with a pitch. Bo Altobelli singled to center to cut the Chiefs lead to 5-3 and end the night for Reyes. Chris Perry came into the game and got B.K. Santy to hit a grounder to third but Michael Schulze threw wild to first allowing Garver to score from second. Perry rebounded to strikeout Joel Licon to end the inning with the Chiefs up 5-4
The Chiefs added insurance in the sixth when Castillo reached on an error, was sacrificed to second by Peoples-Walls and driven home by Steve Bean. Chris Thomas allowed two singles in the seventh but struck out Joel Licon looking to end the sweep.
Reyes allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision. He struck out three, walked three and hit a batter. Perry (2-0) struck out three and did not allow a hit while earning the win over 1 1/3 innings. Thomas struck out two and allowed two singles to earn his fifth save.
"Chris (Perry) came in and attacked hitters today and did a really good job out of the pen," Kruzel said. "Thomas made some quality pitches at the end, got the kid looking and we were fortunate to get two wins."
Notes: The Chiefs are 5-2 in one-run games and 4-5 in two-run games…The Chiefs are 5-1 in Alex Reyes six starts this season…Peoria is 9-3 in the first game of a series, 5-2 on the road…Herrera picked up his third 3-hit game of the season in game one while Kelly collected three hits in a game for the second time in 2014…The Chiefs have scored at least five runs in an inning twice on the road trip and eight times this season…They have scored at least four runs in an inning 12 times…Valera had two hits in both games and now has 11 multi-hit games, third most on the team…Valera has three game-winning RBI in 2014, second only to Ronald Castillo (7) on the Chiefs…Castillo is tied for fourth in the MWL with 27 RBI…Herrera leads the Chiefs with four triples…The Chiefs have three road double header sweeps this season in Beloit, Lake County and Cedar Rapids…Herrera and Valera combined to go 8-fo-13 with two triples, two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored in the double header…All seven Kernels runs on the day scored with two outs…Thomas leads the Chiefs with 15 pitching appearances…The teams will conclude the series with another 5:05 p.m. double header on Wednesday…The Chiefs will start LH Jimmy Reed (1-1, 5.34) in game one and LH Chase Brookshire (1-3, 8.57) in game two…Cedar Rapids will start 2013 first round draft pick RH Kohl Stewart (1-1, 2.35) in game one and RH Felix Jorge (0-1, 8.66) in game two…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 4:10 p.m., on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App.