PEORIA, IL- Alex Reyes struck out ten batters and the Peoria Chiefs scored two runs in the ninth, but some poor baserunning in the inning led to a 6-4 loss to the Beloit Snappers on Monday night. The loss drops the Chiefs to 27-29 in the second half and 64-61 overall with 14 games remaining.
The Chiefs got on the board with a run in the first inning against Lou Trivino. Vaughn Bryan led off with an opposite-field double to left and took third on a wild pitch. With the Snappers infield back, Juan Herrera chopped a grounder to short which scored Bryan for the 1-0 lead.
The Snappers scored three runs against Alex Reyes in the third with only one earned. Beloit loaded the bases with no outs on a Justin Higley double, Josh Ludy walk and Branden Cogswell bunt single. After Melvin Mercedes popped out, BJ Boyd hit a ground ball that went through the legs of first baseman Justin Ringo to score Higley and Ludy and send Cogswell to third. Reyes picked off Boyd at first for the second out but threw a wild pitch scoring Cogswell and giving Beloit a 3-1 lead.
Peoria got one run back in the fourth as Ringo and Carson Kelly hit consecutive singles to begin the inning with Ringo getting to third on Kelly's hit. After Rowan Wick struck out, Ronald Castillo hit a bouncer to second with Kelly being put out at second. Castillo beat the throw to first as Ringo scored for a 3-2 Chiefs deficit.
Beloit got that run back in the fifth as Higley led off with a home run to center field for a 4-2 Snappers lead. It was Higley's first home run with the Snappers after hitting five in 24 games with Low-A Vermont.
The Snappers got two more runs in the eighth off Steve Sabatino. Ludy led off with a single and got to second on a wild pitch. A ground out moved Ludy to third and he scored on Mercedes' sacrifice fly to center. Boyd followed with an infield single and on a full count pitch, Matt Chapman lined a triple in the right-center gap to score Boyd and make the score 6-2.
The Chiefs would not go quietly in the ninth against Beloit closer Sam Bragg. Wick and Castillo led off with singles and Steve Bean doubled in Wick. Cesar Valera followed with a single to right as Castillo scored to make it 6-4. Bean rounded third base too far and was thrown out after a rundown for the first out. Valera then rounded second and was thrown out trying to get back to the bag and the Chiefs had two outs and no one on. Pedroza ripped a double to center that could have tied the game at six, but McElroy struck out to end the game as the tying run.
Reyes (6-7) pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits with one walk and ten strikeouts but took the loss. Sabatino tossed 1 1/3 innings allowing two runs on three hits with a strikeout. Kyle Barraclough went the final 1 1/3 innings yielding two walks.
Notes: The Chiefs are still just two games behind Wisconsin in the wild card race with 14 to play as both teams have lost five in a row…Reyes struck out at least ten batters for his second straight start and third game this season…Reyes got his eighth quality start, tying him with Rob Kaminsky for second-most on the team…Arturo Reyes leads with 11…Bryan left the game in the seventh with a 1-2 count during his at bat…CJ McElroy Jr. replaced him for his first game since injuring himself making a diving catch on Friday in Cedar Rapids…Sabatino has allowed seven runs in his last four outings, a span of 6 2/3 innings…He had allowed two runs over his first 27 outings, a span of 35 innings…The Chiefs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position through eight innings…The Chiefs have lost five games in a row for the second time this season, with the other from May 23-27…Game two of the series is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.…LHP Chase Brookshire (4-6, 4.14) starts for the Chiefs against LHP Matt Stalcup (4-4, 4.52) for Beloit…It's a Taco Bell Tuesday meaning if you purchased a Doritos Locos Taco in the past week you can use your receipt as a voucher for a free ticket with the purchase of a box seat ticket…It's also a Silver Slugger Tuesday presented by Humana as all members receive free admission to every Tuesday home game…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the 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. The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App.