BURLINGTON, IA- After watching a 2-0 lead and a spectacular starting effort by Rob Kaminsky slip away, the Peoria Chiefs rallied with two runs in the ninth for a 4-3 win over the Burlington Bees on Thursday night. The win moves the Chiefs to 27-19 on the season in the first game of a six-game roadtrip.
"Kaminsky was in total control of this game," said Manager Joe Kruzel." He eliminated hitters with a three-pitch mix and kept them off balance. All contact off him was soft, he pitched a heck of a game and deserved a better fate."
The Chiefs got on the board in the third inning as Jimmy Bosco reached second on a flyball off the glove of a leaping right fielder that was ruled an error. A flyout to center moved Bosco to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Michael Schulze for a 1-0 Chiefs lead.
With Kaminsky cruising on the mound, the Chiefs added to the lead in the fourth inning. Mason Katz hit an opposite field home run off Clint Sharp. The homer is the eighth of the season for Katz and his third this week.
"We did some things well early, got the guy on over and in," said Kruzel. "Mason's homer gave us an added boost as well."
Kaminsky struck out two in the third, two in the fourth and another in both the fifth and sixth innings. He allowed just a bloop single and a walk, both to Brandon Bayardi, through the first six innings.
Kaminsky struck out Mike Fish to start the seventh but strike three was a wild pitch and Fish reached first. A soft line drive single to right by Chad Hinshaw moved Fish to third and ended Kaminsky's night. Brandon Lee got two quick outs before a walk to Steve McGee loaded the bases. Ranyelmy Mendoza hit a grounder to short that should have ended the inning but an error by Richy Pedroza scored two Bees. A single by Erick Salcedo scored McGee to put Burlington up 3-2 before Steve Sabatino got out of the inning.
Down 3-2 into the ninth the Chiefs rallied against Burlington closer Alan Busenitz. Vaughn Bryan singled to left and scored easily when Justin Ringo doubled to the center field wall. Ringo moved to third on a groundout and with two outs, Kenny Peoples-Walls singled on a 0-2 pitch to put the Chiefs on top 4-3. Zach Loraine retired the Bees in order in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
"Sabatino kept the game where it was and gave us a chance." said Kruzel. "What a big hit for Ringo in the ninth, Katz got him over and Kenny came through to give us the lead. Loraine attacked for a quick ninth. That's a great come from behind win after giving up the lead. For this club to come back the way they did good team win to start a road trip says a lot."
Kaminsky struck out a career-high nine over a career-high six innings while allowing two singles, two unearned runs and a walk. Lee allowed one hit, one walk and one unearned run in 2/3 of an inning. Sabatino (3-0) retired all four batters he faced with two strikeouts. Loraine struck out two of the three batters he faced for the save.
Notes: The Chiefs had been 0-18 when trailing after seven innings this season…Peoples-Walls is now 10-for-22 (.476) on the season with two outs and a runner in scoring position…The Chiefs went 30 1/3 innings dating back to Monday without issuing a walk before Kaminsky walked Brandon Bayardi with one out in the fifth…Katz, batting cleanup for the first time this season, is now tied for the MWL lead in home runs with eight…Ringo has two doubles and a homer in three games…Sabatino has pitched four times this season and is tied for the Chiefs lead with three wins…Chiefs relievers are now 17-3…Burlington first baseman Eric Aguilera was ejected in the fourth after Bosco was called safe at first on a ground ball to shortstop…Vaughn Bryan stole his first base of the season and was also caught stealing…Bryan has hit safely in all four of his Chiefs starts…The second game of the three-game series is Friday at 6:30 p.m….RHP Michael Holback (0-0, 2.45) starts for Peoria while RHP Garrett Nuss (3-0, 3.74) takes the mound for Burlington…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:10 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.