Peoria, IL -
With a sellout crowd of 7,142 in attendance for the first Fireworks show of the season, starter PJ Francescon put on a show of his own leading the Peoria Chiefs to a dominating 2-1 win over the Burlington Bees Saturday night. Despite the win, the game saw the end of Paul Hoilman's franchise-record 24-game hit streak which began on April 14 as the first basemen went 0-for-4 against Burlington. The win puts Peoria at 15-21 on the year as they head into game two of the series Sunday afternoon at 2:00.
The Chiefs took advantage of some faulty defense in the bottom of the third. After walking his fifth batter of the game to start the frame, Burlington starter Raul Alcantara hurled an errant pickoff throw to first allowing Zeke DeVoss to scoot all the way to third. Taiwan Easterling was unable to get one past the drawn in infield but another errant throw from shortstop Sean Jamieson allowed DeVoss to cross home giving Peoria a 1-0 lead without recording a hit. After back-to-back flyouts, Easterling stole second and was brought home on a RBI single by Wes Darvill extending the Chiefs' lead to 2-0.
Francescon was electric for the Chiefs and allowed just two baserunners through the first five innings, both on walks. Aaron Shipman led off the sixth with a grounder up the middle and it appeared Marco Hernandez threw to first in time but Shipman was ruled safe with the first Bees hit of the game. Francescon immediately got a 1-4-3 double play and then struck out the side in the seventh.
Burlington was finally able to break through in the top of the eighth. Back-to-back one out singles by Douglas Landaeta and Wade Kirkland followed by a Hernandez error loaded the bases. Yao-Lin Wang replaced Francescon and surrendered a sac fly to sean Jamieson cutting the lead to 2-1. With still two men on, Wang got the next batter Chih-Fang Pan to ground out to end the inning. Wang retired the Bees in order in the ninth to preserve the victory.
Francescon (4-1) turned in a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four in his fifth quality start of the season. Wang replaced Francescon in the eighth and went the last 1 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner, striking out one, on his way to recording his first professional save.
Casey's General Store Player of the Game - PJ Francescon (SP) - Francescon baffled the Bees lineup not allowing a hit until the sixth inning. The right-hander hurled 7 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out four on his way to his fourth victory of the year.
Notes: Saturday's game snapped Paul Hoiman's franchise record hit-streak of 24 games (previous record was 21 games)...He struck out twice, flew out to left and in the seventh inning popped up to shortstop...During the streak Hoilman raised his average from .136 to .306 and he is now at .296 with the 0-for-4 Saturday...Darvill now leads the team with 15 walks...Easterling's steal in the third gives him a team leading seven on the year... The 7 1/3 innings pitched was a career-high for Francescon as well as the longest outing for a Chiefs hurler this season...Francescon's outing was the longest for a Chiefs pitcher since Austin Kirk's nine innings in a complete game no-hitter on July 4, 2011...Saturday was the fifth straight quality start for Francescon as well as his fourth straight win...Francescon and fellow starter Michael Jensen are now tied for the team lead with four wins...The save was the first of his professional career for Wang...Saturday's ballgame was the first sellout of the year at Peoria Chiefs Stadium with an attendance of 7,142...Game two of the series will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m... Sunday is Mother's Day with all Mothers getting in for free...Sunday is also a Family Fun in the SUNday with $2 tickets for kids 12 and under with Chiefs players signing autographs on the concourse following the ballgame and kids run the bases...All fans can play catch on the field pregame when gates open at 1:00...The Chiefs will send RH Jose Rosario (2-3, 5.25) to the mound to face RH Sean Murphy (3-2, 1.23)...The broadcast can be heard, starting with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.