(Peoria, IL) - Brady Aiken led the way for the Lake County Captains (10-11, 37-53) on Friday night in their 6-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs (13-9, 43-48). Aiken delivered his first scoreless outing of the season, pitching six shutout frames to help the Captains capture the final game of their three game road series at Dozer Park.
Aiken had to scratch and claw his way through the first five innings. The Chiefs put runners in scoring position in every inning from the first through the fifth, but came up empty every time. The Captains' lefty stranded a total of five runners in scoring position on Friday.
The Chiefs put Aiken against the ropes in the first inning. Lake County had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the frame on an RBI double by Li-Jen Chu, but Peoria put the leadoff man on in the bottom of the inning on a single by Kramer Robertson. The Captains cleared the bases on a strike-out, throw-out double play. Aiken struck out Stefan Trosclair looking and Chu fired to second to nab Robertson trying to steal. The Chiefs quickly mounted another rally, however, when Aiken walked Danny Hudzina and Brian O'Keefe back-to-back. JR Davis came up next and lifted a high fly ball deep into the left field corner, but Jose Medina had just enough room to make the catch and end the inning.
Aiken faced another big jam came in the second with the Captains still on top, 1-0. Vince Jackson worked a one-out walk and Dylan Carlson followed with a double to put two men in scoring position. Matt Fiedler then lined out to shortstop and Aiken got Robertson to fly out to centerfield to end the inning.
The Chiefs mounted another threat in the fourth and Carlson was front-and-center again. After Aiken retired the first two batters of the inning, Carlson roped his second double of the night and advanced to third on a passed ball. The Captains were still holding on to a 1-0 lead and Aiken made sure they kept it, inducing an inning-ending ground out to shortstop.
Peoria challenged Aiken's scoreless line again in the fifth. Robertson and Trosclair began the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Hudzina then hit a grounder back to the mound and Aiken retired Trosclair on the force out at second base, but the Captains could not turn two. Peoria had runners on the corners with one out, but Aiken induced another bouncer back to the mound and the pitcher started a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning and keep the Captains ahead, 1-0.
Aiken (2-10) finished his night with a one-two-three sixth inning and eventually earned the victory. The southpaw pitched six shutout innings and allowed seven hits. Aiken struck out two and walked three, though he did not issue a walk after the second inning.
The Captains provided Aiken with insurance runs down the stretch. In the seventh, Logan Ice and Medina hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Chiefs lefty reliever Dewin Perez retired the next two batters, but Conner Capel delivered a two-out, two-run triple into the right-centerfield gap to give Lake County a 3-0 advantage.
Mitch Longo doubled the Captains' lead in the ninth. Alexis Pantoja hit an infield single to start the inning and Elvis Perez followed with a single. With two outs and two men aboard, Longo hit a high drive over the wall down the right field line against Peoria reliever Yeason Medina. The three-run shot gave the Captains a 6-0 lead.
Peoria scored its one and only run in the ninth against thanks to Carlson's third double of the night. Davis led off with a single against Dalbert Siri and took second base on defensive indifference. With two outs, Carlson roped a double to the gap in left-centerfield that plated Davis.
The Captains had lost the first two games of the three-game set, but salvaged the series finale in Peoria. Chiefs starter Frederis Parra pitched well, but suffered the loss. Parra (1-3) pitched 5.2 innings and allowed one run on five hits. He struck out a pair, walked one and hit one batter.
Lake County travels to Burlington, IA to begin a three-game series with the Burlington Bees on Saturday night. First pitch for the series opener is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). 12- and 20-game mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.