Peoria, IL - Brian O'Keefe's "walk-off" home run in the sixth inning of a rain-shortened game propelled the Peoria Chiefs to a 3-2, 6-inning win over the Burlington Bees Saturday night at Dozer Park. The Chiefs improve to 29-39 overall and will wrap up the first half on Sunday at Dozer Park against Burlington with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch.
The Chiefs got on the board first in the third inning against Bees starter Erik Manoah. O'Keefe drilled the second pitch of the at-bat over the left field wall to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. The home run was O'Keefe's fifth of the season and first in the month of June.
Burlington took the lead in the fourth inning against Peoria hurler Juan Perez. With one out Keith Grieshaber reached on an error by Juan Yepez and stole second with two outs. Jordan Zimmerman homered to center to put Burlington on top, 2-1. Max Almonte came on in relief of Perez and recorded the final out of the inning.
Peoria tied the game in the fifth with Manoah still on the mound for Burlington. J.R. Davis led off with a line-drive home run to left field to pull the Chiefs even at 2-2. It was his third clout of the year and his first since May 3 in Lansing.
Rain began to fall on-and-off at Dozer Park, but play continued into the sixth with Bees reliever Ty Barkell on the mound. Stefan Trosclair walked to lead off the inning, but Yepez struck out and Trosclair was caught stealing for the second out of the inning with O'Keefe at the plate. The rain continued to fall harder and on the third pitch of the at-bat, O'Keefe drove a ball over the right field fence to give the Chiefs a 3-2 advantage. Davis stepped to the plate but never saw a pitch as the game was sent into a rain delay. After 32 minutes the game was called with the Chiefs winning 3-2,
Perez allowed two unearned runs on three hits with a strikeout over 3 2/3 innings of work. Almonte (2-0) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing three hits with a strikeout in a win.
Due to the rained out fireworks and Jason Gray Faith & Family concert, any fans who had tickets for Saturday's game may exchange them for a ticket to another 2017 regular season game.
Notes… O'Keefe had his first career two-homer game…He has 13 regular season home runs at Dozer Park which ties Rebel Ridling (2008-09) for the most in stadium history…Adding in his playoff homer from last season, no one has hit more homers at Dozer Park than O'Keefe…He has 24 career Chiefs homers, tied with Ryan Harvey and Alex Carbera for 10th on the Chiefs career list…He has 104 career RBI, tied with Butch Garcia for 12th…All five runs in the game scored on home runs…The Chiefs have hit 59 homers on the season…The Chiefs are 9-11 in one-run games ad 11-32 when scoring four runs or less…Jackson started in center field and hit third in the order, both for the first time this season... Davis hit eighth in the lineup for the first time this year… Billings extended his hit streak to 12 games… Davis' homer was his first at Dozer Park this season…Young extended his on-base streak to 31 games… The Chiefs and Burlington wrap-up the first half on Sunday with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch… Sunday is a player poster giveaway to the first 1,000 fans in attendance featuring Peoria's five all-star selections presented by PJstar.com and CityLink… It's Father's Day at Dozer Park and the first 1,000 fathers in attendance will receive a Chiefs Dri-fit T-shirt… PBS's Curious George will make an appearance… It will also be a PNC Kids Sunday where kids 12 and under receive $5 admission and free hot dogs, chips, and drink with paid kids ticket… There will be pre-game player autographs for kids 12 and under only… Kids can also run the bases post-game and all fans can play catch on field… Sunday is a Senior Sunday at Dozer Park where all seniors 55 and over can get $5 tickets when buying in person at the box office…The Chiefs send RHP Bryan Dobzanski (1-5, 4.97) to the mound against Bees LHP Nate Bertness (3-4,5.26)… 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…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.