Cedar Rapids, IA - Down all game, the Peoria Chiefs scored five runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-3 Saturday night and lower their magic number for a first half playoff spot to one. With a record of 38-31 the Chiefs will clinch
Cedar Rapids, IA - Down all game, the Peoria Chiefs scored five runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-3 Saturday night and lower their magic number for a first half playoff spot to one. With a record of 38-31 the Chiefs will clinch a playoff spot on Sunday in the first half finale by either beating Cedar Rapids or if Clinton loses at Beloit.
For the second game in a row the Kernels scored in the bottom of the first inning against Chiefs starter Alvaro Seijas. Royce Lewis singled with one down and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Alex Kiriloff. Jose Miranda brought in Lewis for the first run of the game as he grounded into a fielders' choice. Cedar Rapids added on in the second as Andrew Bechtold led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Robert Molina sacrifice fly.
The Chiefs hit into double plays to end the first, second and fourth innings before going in order in the fifth. Matt Fiedler led off the sixth with a triple but over-slid the bag and was tagged out on second effort by Miranda. JR Davis singled two batters later but was left at first as the Kernels held onto a 2-0 lead.
Cedar Rapids extended their lead in the seventh as Akil Baddoo hit his seventh homer of the year. The solo shot put the Kernels on top 3-0 before the Chiefs went in order in the eighth.
Rayder Ascanio led off the Chiefs ninth with a single to left and Kernels reliever Blayne Enlow hit Davis in the back to bring the tying run to the plate. Nick Plummer walked to load the bases and Irving Lopez got the Chiefs on the board with a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate Ascanio. Jared Finkel took over on the mound and hit Elehuris Montero to reload the bases. With Julio Rodriguez batting, a wild pitch scored Davis to cut the Chiefs deficit to 3-2. Rodriguez walked and Yariel Gonzalez tied the game with a bloop single to right as Plummer scored. Montero was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to shortstop before Fiedler put the Chiefs on top 5-3 with a double to left. Thomas St. Clair retired the Kernels in order in the ninth as the Cedar Rapids pitching coach was ejected.
Seijas (2-3) earned the win as he allowed three runs on nine hits over eight innings. The right-hander walked one, struck out two and threw 86 pitches. St. Clair threw a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Notes…Quad Cities wrapped up the division with a Saturday win while Clinton beat Beloit 9-4 meaning the LumberKings stay alive…The Chiefs are in with a win Sunday or a Clinton loss…Peoria has been outscored 60-30 in the first inning…The Chiefs have outscored opponents 28-9 in the ninth inning…Seijas threw a career-high eight innings…The Kernels have out-homered the Chiefs 9-2 in six games this season…This was the Chiefs first win against Cedar Rapids in six games this season…Peoria is 3-29 when trailing after eight…The first half ends Sunday with a 2:00 p.m. game as the Chiefs start RH Jesus Cruz (1-1, 1.29) against Kernels RH Jordan Balazovic (1-0, 0.84)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 1:50 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network on the Tune-In Radio App.