(Peoria, IL) - Tanner Tully had a nice day on the hill for the Lake County Captains (9-11, 36-53) on Thursday, but the Peoria Chiefs (13-8, 43-47) scraped across just enough runs to hand the left-hander a tough-luck loss. Tully surrendered just three runs in 6.2 innings, but the Chiefs held Lake County to one run. The Captains fell to Peoria for the second straight night at Dozer Park, 4-1.
The two sides traded blows in the early going. Peoria plated the game's first run two batters into the bottom of the first. Kramer Robertson led off with an infield single and Stefan Trosclair knocked him home with a deep double that short-hopped the right-centerfield wall. Robertson raced all the way around the diamond from first and Miguel Eladio's relay throw from shallow center sailed high, allowing Robertson to touch home and give Peoria a 1-0 lead.
Conner Capel punched right back for the Captains in the top of the second. With one out and nobody on, Capel drilled a 3-2 pitch by lefty starter Evan Kruczynski over the right field wall for a game-tying solo home run. The blast was Capel's 12th on the year, good for second on the Captains behind league-leader Emmanuel Tapia who has 20 long balls.
Peoria used the home run ball to jump back ahead. In the bottom of the second, JR Davis hit a solo homer to left field and Trosclair followed suit with a solo shot to left in the third. The Chiefs took a 3-1 lead on Trosclair's seventh homer of the season and second RBI of the night, but both team's bats fell deathly silent afterwards.
Neither team managed a run until the bottom of the eighth inning, but both teams had opportunities. The Captains threatened in the top of the fourth when Li-Jen Chu led off with a single and Capel roped a ball into the right field corner two batters later. Capel, however, tried to stretch his single into a double and right fielder Dylan Carlson threw him out at second base. Chu was later left stranded on third base.
Tully worked out of some trouble in the home half of the fifth. The left-hander hit Nick Plummer on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the frame. Tully then struck out Robertson, but Plummer stole second on the strike-three pitch. A wild pitch moved Plummer up to third base and Tully walked Trosclair to put runners on the corners. Tully then struck out Carlson and Ryan McCarvel to strand the runners on the corners and keep the Captains within two runs.
Lake County missed out on a chance to tie the game in the seventh. Chiefs right-handed reliever Bryan Dobzanski had struck out the first two men in the inning, but an error by Davis at second base allowed Alexis Pantoja to reach first with two outs and Eladio ripped a double down the left field line to put two men in scoring position. Lake County was a base hit away from tying the game, but Dobzanski buckled down and struck out Luke Wakamatsu to end the inning.
The Captains had another chance to tie the score in the eighth, but Chiefs closer Eric Carter quieted the storm. Chu worked his way on with a two-out single and Tapia came to the plate as the tying run. Carter came in to face Tapia, relieving Dobzanski, and Carter struck out Tapia to end the frame.
The Chiefs added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Fiedler singled with two outs off of lefty Ben Krauth and then stole second base. Davis then singled to right field, scoring Fiedler to give the Chiefs a 4-1 advantage. Carter worked a one-two-three ninth inning to seal the win and capture his eighth save of the year.
Kruczynski (1-1) earned his first professional win by turning in his first quality start. The lefty worked six innings and allowed one run on five hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Tully (4-6) also pitched a quality start, but took the loss. The Captains' southpaw pitched 6.2 innings and gave up three runs on five hits. Tully struck out four batters, walked a pair and hit one.
The Captains have dropped two in a row in Peoria and will try to salvage the final game of the series on Friday night. First pitch at Dozer Park is scheduled for 8:00 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.