Peoria, IL - The Peoria Chiefs hit their first home run of the season but allowed four in a 12-9 loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday night. The loss, their fourth in a row, drops to the Chiefs to 1-4 on the season with the series finale scheduled for Thursday night.
The Kernels wasted no time against Chiefs starting pitcher Winston Nicacio in the top of the first inning. Jose Miranda reached on a throwing error by shortstop Rayder Ascanio and Alex Kirilloff hit his first homer of the season to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The Chiefs answered in the bottom of the first against Kernels starter Randy Dobnak. Irving Lopez drew a lead off walk and Taylor Bryant singled to right. With one out, Juan Yepez continued his hot start to the season with a RBI single to right to get the Chiefs on the board. Dylan Carlson launched a three-run homer onto the picnic tables in right-field for the Chiefs first home run of the season and a 4-2 lead.
Cedar Rapids used the long ball to get closer in the second. Ben Rodriguez crushed his first home run of the year, a solo shot, over the berm in left-center to cut the Chiefs lead to 4-3.
The runs kept coming in the bottom of the inning. With Nick Plummer on first base and one out, Lopez singled and a fielders' choice put runners on the corners. Yariel Gonzalez singled home Plummer to give the Chiefs a 5-3 lead.
The Kernels jumped back in front in the top of the third by again using the long ball. Akil Badoo drew a leadoff walk and Miranda was hit by a pitch. Kirilloff's second home run of the game put the Kernels on top 6-5 and gave the teenager a career-high five RBI.
Cedar Rapids added to their lead in the fourth. Trey Cabbage and Jordan Gore each singled off Nicacio and the Chiefs went to the bullpen. Kevin Hamann struck out Baddoo but Miranda put the Kernels on top 7-5 with a sacrifice fly.
Peoria rallied in the fourth inning to regain the lead. Plummer walked before Lopez singled to put runners on the corners. Bryant doubled home Plummer to cut the Kernels lead to one and Gonzalez tied the game with a single to plate Lopez. Yepez gave the Chiefs an 8-7 lead with a sacrifice fly to left field and the third lead change of the game.
The back and forth game continued in the top of the fifth. Andrew Bechtold led off with a walk but he was thrown out at third on a single to right by ben Rortvedt. Cedar Rapids tied the game on a single by Rodriguez who was erased trying for second. David Banuelos hit the Kernels fourth home run of the night, a solo shot to left for a 9-8 Kernels lead.
Cedar Rapids added on with help from the Chiefs defense in the sixth. Gore walked and Baddoo reached on a sacrifice bunt as Bryant committed a fielding error at third. Another error by Bryant loaded the bases and Kirilloff picked up a sixth RBI with a single to center. Bechtold gave the Kernels an 11-8 lead with a groundout before Bryan Dobzanski took over on the mound and escaped the inning.
The Kernels scored their final run in the seventh. Rodriguez led off with a single and moved to third on a single by Banuelos. Gore singled to center for a 12-8 lead before Dobzanski retired the next two batters.
The next run didn't come until the bottom of the ninth when Bryant, Gonzalez and Yepez all singled against Kernels reliever Ryan Mason. Ortega picked up his first RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to right scoring Yepez for a 12-9 game. Jonatan Machado represented the tying run but grounded out to the second base to end the game.
Nicacio received a no-decision in the start going three innings and facing the first two batters in the fourth. He allowed seven runs, six earned, on six hits, one walk, one hit batter and he struck out four while allowing three homers. Hamann (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits over 2 1/3 innings as he took the loss. The right walked two, struck out two and allowed a home run. Dobzanski allowed one run on four hits as he struck out two over 2 2/3 innings. Cory Malcom struck out all three batters he faced in a perfect inning.
Notes…For the second straight year, Carlson hit the first Chiefs home run of the season… Yepez has hit safely in all five games, the only Chiefs player to do so…The Chiefs scored a season-high nine runs and had a season-high 14 hits but allowed a season-high 12 runs...Of the Chiefs 14 hits, 12 were singles…Peoria was 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position…Nicacio was the last Chiefs player to appear in a game this season…Cedar Rapids scored in each of the first seven innings…Bryant and Gonzalez both had three hits as the top five batters in the Peoria lineup each had at least two hits…Gonzalez (2), Yepez (2) and Carlson (3) combined for seven RBI…The Chiefs have not been swept at home in a four-game series since Cedar Rapids won four straight August 17-20, 2013 and they will need a win Thursday to avoid the same fate…Thursday is a Baumgarten Distributing Beer & Brat Thirsty Thursday…Fans can get $2 12 ounce domestic can beer and soda, $3 16 ounce craft drafts, margaritas and brats…College students get $5 tickets with a valid student ID…The Chiefs will start RH Jake Walsh (1-0, 0.00) against Kernels RH Nick Brown (0-0, 0.00)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 p.m. on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive and is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the Tune-In Radio App…The game is also available on MiLB.tv for subscribers.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.