Burlington, IA - The Peoria Chiefs had five pitchers combine on a one-hitter for an Opening Night 4-2 victory over the Burlington Bees on Thursday. The win marks the second year in a row the Chiefs have started the season with a win in Burlington and the teams are scheduled to play in Iowa again Friday night.
The Chiefs got out to a quick start against right-hander Luis Madero. With one down in the first inning, Dylan Carlson doubled down the left-field line for the first hit of the game. Carlson was out at third base on a fielders choice with Dennis Ortega safe a first. Elehuris Montero doubled off the wall in right to bring home Ortega for a 1-0 Chiefs lead. Juan Yepez singled to left and Montero scored ahead of the throw for a 2-0 lead before Madero escaped the inning.
The Bees got a run before they got a hit. Kodi Whitley took over for Jake Walsh and issued a leadoff walk to David MacKinnon. He struck out the next two batters before Brandon Marsh drew a walk. Fabian Blanco took over on the mound and both runners advanced on a walk before MacKinnon scored on a wild pitch. Blanco struck out Torii Hunter Jr. to end the inning with the Chiefs up 2-1.
Peoria got the run back in the eighth inning against reliever Jorge Tavarez. With one out and Carlson on first base, Ortega walked and a fielders choice gave the Chiefs two on with two outs. Yepez singled to left to score Ortega for a 3-1 lead but Montero was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Burlington was hitless into the eighth as Blanco walked MacKinnon and Leo Rivas with one out. Cory Malcom came out of the bullpen and the Angels first round draft pick from last summer, Jo Adell, singled to left to break up the no-hit bid and drive home MacKinnon. Malcom struck out Marsh before Hunter walked to load the bases. The Chiefs retained the one-run lead as Malcom got Keinner Pina to strike out swinging to end the threat.
The Chiefs again got the run right back against Tavarez in the ninth. Plummer doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Rayder Ascanio. Irving Lopez delivered a sacrifice fly to center field for a 4-2 lead.
Walsh (1-0) did not allow a hit or a run over five innings as he walked four and struck out five. Whitley allowed one run while walking two and striking out two. Blanco allowed a run while walking two, committing a balk and striking out two. Malcom allowed one hit over 2/3 of a shutout inning while walking one and striking out two. Thomas St. Clair struck out all three batters he faced for the save.
Notes…Carlson homered in the first inning of the season opener last year at Burlington and this season doubled in the first inning…Yepez had two hits and two RBI…Walsh, who was a starter in college, made his first pro start after 16 relief appearances last season with Johnson City…Peoria had four doubles, two by Plummer…First pitch temperature was 53…Chiefs pitchers walked nine, one off last year's season high…Despite Burlington getting just one hit and the teams combining for six runs, the game still lasted 3:17 even with the new MiLB Pace of Play rules…The Chiefs are 17-19 on Opening Day in their history, 10-10 on the road…The Chiefs are 4-2 against Burlington in season openers…The teams are scheduled for game two of the series in Iowa in Friday as Peoria starts RH Johan Oviedo (0-0, 0.00) against Burlington RH Keith Rogalla (0-0, 0.00) at 6:30 p.m….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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.