Cedar Rapids, IA - The Peoria Chiefs hit five home runs in the first game of the double header, a 12-8 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but were shutout 2-0 in the nightcap to earn a Monday split in Iowa. The Chiefs are now 13-22 on the season with two games left in the series.
The Kernels scored first against Chiefs starter Jordan Hicks. Hicks hit Jermaine Palacios to start the first inning and a single by Travis Blankenhorn put runners on the corners. Lewin Diaz delivered a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead before a double play got the Chiefs out of the inning.
Andy Young led off the second inning with a home run to tie the game against Kernels starter Eduardo Del Rosario. The homer, his fifth of the season, went into the party deck in left field over the high wall.
The Chiefs took the lead in the third inning. Nick Plummer led off with a walk and Tommy Edman drove him in with a triple into the right-field corner for a 2-1 Chiefs lead. Newcomer Jose Martinez added to the lead with a sacrifice fly to left that easily scored Edman for a 3-1 Peoria lead.
The Chiefs didn't lead long though as the Kernels exploded in the bottom of the inning. Hicks walked Palacios and Blankenhorn to start the inning and Diaz tied the game with a double off the right-field wall. Jaylin Davis doubled to right-center for a 4-3 lead and with one out Brandon Lopez drew a walk. Ben Rortvedt's single scored a run and Lopez came home on a sacrifice fly for a 6-3 lead. Brady Bowen took over for Hicks and surrendered a two-run homer to Christian Cavaness for an 8-3 Kernels lead.
The Chiefs got three runs back in the top of the fourth with a two-out rally. Dylan Carlson was hit by a pitch and Vincent Jackson walked before Plummer homered into the left-field party deck to cut the lead to 8-6. The Chiefs got another run in the fifth on a two-out home run to left-center by Andrew Knizner, his team-leading sixth of the season. With one out in the sixth inning Jackson tied the game with his first home run of the season off Kernels reliever Logan Lombana.
The game was tied with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh when Knizner doubled to left-center off Lombana. Young drew a walk and Carlson put the Chiefs on top with a full-count single to left field as Knizner scored. Alex Robinson took over on the mound for Cedar Rapids and Jackson greeted him with a three-run homer off the center-field batters eye for a 12-8 Chiefs lead.
Hicks allowed seven runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings while walking four and hitting a batter. Bowen allowed one run on one hit over 2 1/3 innings while striking out two. Eric Carter (2-1) picked up the win with two shutout innings in which he walked one and allowed a hit while striking out one.
In game two the Chiefs left runners at first and third in the first and first and second in the second against spot starter Max Cordy. The Kernels broke through first against Mike O'Reilly in the bottom of the fourth. Lewin Diaz led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Mitchell Kranson. Caleb Hamilton put the hosts on top with a single to left before Kranson was caught wandering off third and O'Reilly escaped the inning down 1-0.
Cedar Rapids doubled their lead in the fifth as Palacios hit his third home run of the season out to left field. The homer is the Midwest League leading 38th allowed by the Chiefs pitching staff this season.
O'Reilly (0-1) took the loss as he allowed two runs on five hits over five innings in his second start of the season. The right-hander struck out seven and did not issue a walk. Max Almonte made his Chiefs debut with a hitless inning as he walked one.
Notes… Knizner had hits in both games for a 12-game hit streak and now leads the Chiefs in home runs (6) and RBI (16)…The Chiefs hit five homers in the opener, one shy of the franchise record set in a 13-0 home win against Cedar Rapids on April 30, 1997…Jackson had his first career multi-homer game while tying a career-high in RBI and setting a new one in runs scored…His last homer was August 23, 2016 for State College against Batavia…Paul DeJong had the last multi-homer game for the Chiefs on September 3, 2015 against Burlington…The Chiefs are 3-5 on the season when hitting more than one homer in a game…Peoria is 4-13 when allowing more than five runs…The Chiefs have scored more than 10 runs in a game twice this season, both against the Kernels as they won 15-3 on April 19 when Hicks and Del Rosario both started…The Chiefs are 6-1 when Hicks starts…Hicks tied a career high from September 2, 2016 with five walks and that was also his only other career start with no strikeouts…He has hit a MWL leading seven batters this season…The Chiefs erased a five-run deficit, their largest of the season…The seven runs allowed in the third inning of game one tie for the Chiefs worst inning of the season…Edman is tied for second in the MWL with five triples…Bowen and Carter are tied for the team lead and tied for fourth in the MWL with 12 appearances…The game one win snapped a season-high four-game losing streak and makes the Chiefs 5-2 in the first game of a road series…The Chiefs wore their home Sunday baby blue throwbacks on the road for the first time ever in game one…McCarvel played for the first time since May 9 in the nightcap…The Chiefs have been shutout a MWL high seven times including three in the last six games…Peoria is the only team that hasn't recorded a shutout in the MWL…O'Keefe grounded into his 24th career double play in game 2, fourth on the Chiefs career list, five away from Chris Duncan's record…O'Reilly has struck out 13 batters in his two starts this season and the seven strikeouts ties a career high from August 23, 2016…The teams play game three of the four-game series on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. as the Chiefs start LH Ian Oxnevad (0-2, 4.11) against Kernels RH Tyler Beardsley (3-2, 4.34)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:20 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android…The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.