Peoria, IL - The Peoria Chiefs (26-18) evened up the series with a 14-3 victory over the Clinton LumberKings (23-20). It was a hit parade all night long for the Chiefs, as LumberKings pitchers allowed a season high 20 hits in the loss.
Clinton starter Lars Huijer (2-2) allowed a season high seven runs as the Chiefs offense got started early and didn't slow down. After a one-out single by Vaughn Bryan, Huijer picked up his second balk in as many outings. With Bryan at second base, Juan Herrera knocked ome his 21st run with an RBI single to CF. Already ahead 1-0, Peoria broke it wide open with six runs in the second, while Huijer recorded only two outs in the inning.
In the six run frame, Peoria sent 11 men to the plate. Following a leadoff double by Steve Bean, and then a strikeout of Kenneth Peoples-Walls, Peoria saw five consecutive batters reach. Huijer hit Justin Ringo, the league high 11th hit batter by the righty, before Mason Katz singled to load the bases. Huijer then walked Michael Schulze, hit C.J. McElroy, and walked Bryan to make it 4-0. Herrera reached on an E4 that allowed Schulze to score. Bean then doubled for the second time in the inning, this time two runs came home, and it was a seven run deficit for Clinton after just two innings. Bean's second double knocked out Huijer, as Seon Gi Kim recorded the final out of the inning for Clinton.
Kim did not fair much better than Huijer. He allowed a leadoff home run to Ringo in the third and a two run double by Ringo in addition to an RBI single by Schulze in the fourth. It was 11-0 Peoria before Clinton finally scored off of Chiefs starter Jimmy Reed (2-1) in the sixth.
In the sixth, Reed surrendered one on a leadoff home run to Austin Wilson, his fifth of the season, and a pair on Corey Simpson's two RBI double in the seventh that knocked him out of the game and made it 13-3. Reed allowed three runs in 6.1 innings as he picked up his second win of the season. The Chiefs starter gave up 11 hits, including doubles by Simpson, Joe DeCarlo, and Christian Carmichael in route to his third quality start of the season.
A 10-run deficit was as close as the LumberKings came over the final two innings, as two Chiefs relievers threw the final 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Peoria capped off the scoring with Mason Katz's second home run of the ballgame, a solo home run off of LumberKings closer Emilio Pagan.
The LumberKings bullpen as a whole equaled the outing from starter Lars Huijer, as Kim, Rafael Pineda, and Pagan allowed seven runs over the final 6.1 innings. Jack Reinheimer went 0-4, and saw his 10 game hit streak snapped. The 20 hits allowed by LumberKings pitching surpassed the previous season high set on May 7th vs. Burlington, the 20-17 Clinton win. Three home runs by Peoria also set a new season high for LumberKings pitching. Huijer had a 1.45 ERA in his previous three starts and had allowed only three runs over the stretch prior to the seven he gave up Tuesday night.
The LumberKings go back at it with the Chiefs on Wednesday night in the series finale. Edwin Diaz (1-2, 3.82) is scheduled to face off with righty Blake McKnight (1-3, 6.75). Peoria remains 2.5 games behind division leading Kane County, and the LumberKings are 2.5 games back of second place Peoria. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 6:30 CT. The LumberKings broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com, with the pregame show scheduled for 6:15 CT in Peoria.