Clinton, IA - Brian O'Keefe launched two homers and Juan Yepez drove in a career-high five runs as the Peoria Chiefs mashed 20 hits in a 12-4 win over the Clinton LumberKings Tuesday night. The win moves the wild-card leading Chiefs to 26-19 in the second half and 56-68 overall.
The Chiefs jumped out to a first inning lead against Clinton lefty Nick Wells. Leading off for the first time all season, Dylan Carlson doubled to right field and he moved to third on a bunt single by Kramer Robertson. O'Keefe gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead with a RBI groundout to third base but the Chiefs left two runners on base as Wells escaped the inning.
Clinton charged back in the bottom of the first against Anthony Shew. Joe Rosa reached on an infield single to second and Jhombeyker Morales doubled to left on a broken-bat liner. Rosa scored on a groundout to tie the game and with two outs, Nick Zammarelli put Clinton on top 3-1 with his sixth home run of the season.
O'Keefe led off the third inning with his 12th home run of the season, a towering blast into the right-field picnic tables to cut Clinton's lead to 3-2. With one out Stefan Trosclair walked and the Chiefs tied the game when Ryan McCarvel doubled to right-center.
With two outs in the fourth, the Chiefs rallied to take the lead. Robertson singled and moved to second as O'Keefe walked. Yepez singled to left and Robertson scored easily for a 4-3 Chiefs lead but O'Keefe was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
Peoria broke the game open in the sixth inning while knocking Wells out of the game. Jackson beat out an infield single and JR Davis double high off the left-field wall to put two in scoring position. Former Burlington Bees reliever Tyler Watson took over for Wells and retired the first two Chiefs he faced before walking O'Keefe on four pitches. Yepez delivered a three-run double down the left field line to put the Chiefs on top 7-3 though he was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
O'Keefe went deep again in the eighth inning to give the Chiefs an 8-3 lead. The homer gives O'Keefe 13 on the season, matching his 2016 regular season total and tying McCarvel for the team lead.
Peoria added on in the ninth inning by sending nine to the plate against Steven Moyers. With one out Matt Fiedler singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Joe Rizzon. Jackson tripled for a 9-3 Chiefs lead and Davis brought him home with his second double of the game. Carlson also delivered his second double for an 11-3 lead and Robertson walked. After a groundout, Yepez reached a new career-high with five RBI as he singled home Carlson for a 12-3 lead. Clinton added on a final unearned run in the bottom of the ninth for a 12-4 final.
Shew (1-0) earned his first MWL win with six innings as he allowed three runs on five hits while striking out five. Austin Sexton and Ronnie Williams each threw perfect innings with the former recording a strikeout. Leland Tilley allowed an unearned run on two hits while striking out one in the ninth.
Notes…O'Keefe has three 2-homer games this season and he matches last year's regular season total of 13 homers…He is the seventh player in franchise history to hit 30 career home runs and he has five in his career at Clinton passing Wisconsin for his most road stadium homers…Yepez has two games with at least four RBI games this season, both against Clinton in games started by Wells, tonight and June 11 when he homered twice…He drove in 12 runs on the seven-game road trip with four multi-RBI games…Yepez has a team-best 10 RBI with the bases loaded this season, going 4-for-7…Trosclair has an eight-game game hit streak for the second time this season…He drew a career-high three walks and leads the team with 52 which has him sixth in the MWL…Robertson has a six-game hit streak with 15 hits on the road trip…He has 11 multi-hit games, including five in the last six games…McCarvel played for the first time since Thursday (illness) as O'Keefe caught for the fifth day in a row…He leads the Chiefs with 19 doubles and 47 RBI…The Chiefs had runners thrown out at the plate (Jackson, 2nd inning), third base (O'Keefe, 4th inning), second base (Trosclair, 5th inning) and third base (Yepez, 6th inning) to end four innings…Carlson led off for the first time all season while Yepez batted cleanup for the first time with the Chiefs…The homer in the first by Clinton was the 100th allowed by the Chiefs this season, the fourth time they have allowed 100 or more in a season…The Chiefs had two 20-hit games on the road trip as they had 22 in the final game at Beloit on Friday…Peoria is 19-16 in the final game of a series, 10-8 on the road…The Chiefs finish the season 5-3 in Clinton and they will host the LumberKings August 18-21…The Chiefs and the entire Midwest League are off on Wednesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.