A pair of 20-year-old Burlington pitchers came within one out of throwing a combined no-hitter in Peoria Saturday night. Starter Hector Yan went five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Cole Duensing followed in relief. He cruised through the sixth, seventh and eighth.
After inducing a ground out from the Chiefs' leadoff batter to start the ninth, he hit Wadye Ynfante with a 1-2 pitch. During the subsequent at bat Ynfante took second on defensive indifference. He scored with two out on a ground single to left. No hitter gone. Shutout gone. A ground out to shortstop ended the game.
Duensing struck out four in earning his first save of the season in a heartbreaker. The Bees staked Yan to a three-run lead in the top of the second. With one out, Spencer Griffin single through the left side. With two out Keinner Pina singled the other way, making it first and second. Justin Jones brought them both in with his fourth home run of the year on an 0-1 bomb to left. Bees lead 3-0.
Pina lead off the fifth inning with his first dinger since joining the club earlier in the week. The catcher launched a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall.
After giving up a big lead in Friday night's 8-5 loss, Burlington added plenty of insurance in the eighth on Saturday. Chiefs reliever Freddy Pacheco walked Alvaro Rubalcaba. One out later Kevin Maitan doubled to left-center field scoring Rubalcaba. Maitan took third on a throwing error during the play. With two outs D. C. Arendas mashed a double to right. Maitan scored. Spencer Griffin followed with a double of his own scoring Arendas. Bees up 7-0. They went on to win 7-1.
Burlington moves within one game of clinching the first half wild card playoff spot with one game for them to play. Cedar Rapids entered the night one game back of the Bees. Their game with Clinton was suspended in the second inning, with the Kernels ahead 2-0. That game will resume at 2:05 PM on Sunday. It will be followed by the regularly scheduled game, which will be reduced to seven innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.