This notebook covers the period 4/13-4/20.
4/13/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 0
The Chiefs let the good times roll in the second game of their first road series. Right-hander Matt Pearce had an excellent outing, giving up no runs on five hits with three strikeouts and no walks in six innings pitched.
For the offense, Peoria’s one-two punch came from second baseman Darren Seferina and shortstop Oscar Mercado. Chiefs manager Joe Kruzel gave struggling leadoff-hitter Magneuris Sierra the day off, slotting Seferina in the first spot. Seferina put the Chiefs on the board in the third inning with an RBI triple, scoring Andrew Sohn. He would come in to score as well on a Mercado sac fly.
Seferina added an insurance run in the eighth with a RBI single.
4/14/15: Peoria Chiefs 7 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1
Once again, the Chiefs combined a great offensive performance with a superb outing from their starter. Starting pitcher Will Anderson threw six innings of shutout ball with six strikeouts.
The offense came in bunches with Blake Drake’s sacrifice fly in the third inning starting it off. First baseman Justin Ringo, who hit in the cleanup spot, went three for five with three RBI. Magneuris Sierra returned to the lineup, but went hitless in all five at-bats.
4/15/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Cedar Rapids Kernels 2 (F/12)
Nine innings couldn’t decide this one as the fans were in for some free baseball on Wednesday.
The Chiefs received a clutch bullpen performance from Tyler Bray. Bray had just arrived with the team earlier in the day, coming from Cardinals Extended Spring Training. Bray earned the win in three innings of relief.
A big moment in the bottom of the tenth proved Bray came to play as he pitched himself out of a huge jam with runners on first and second. Catcher Steve Bean picked up a bunt attempt down and fired the ball over to third to get the lead runner.
Chiefs starter Luis Perdomo strung together an impressive start, going 5 2/3 IP and yielding only one run one two hits with six strikeouts.
Oscar Mercado extended his six-game hitting streak, as well as swiping two bags for a league-leading total of six steals.
4/16/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Cedar Rapids Kernels 1
Behind Austin Gomber’s career-high eight strikeouts in seven innings pitched, the Chiefs won their sixth in a row, and remained undefeated on the road.
The Chiefs scored all their runs in a three-run seventh inning. Magneuris Sierra led off the inning with a single and scored on an Oscar Mercado triple. Mercado came around to score on an RBI single by Danny Diekroeger. A two-out single by Steve Bean brought in Diekroeger.
4/17/15: Peoria Chiefs 1 @ Cedar Rapids Kernels 5
The Chiefs’ six-game winning streak came to an end in the finale of this series. The Chiefs brought a 1-1 tie all the way into the bottom of the eighth. Starter Daniel Poncedeleon went 6 1/3, giving up only one run.
The Kernels scored the go-ahead tally with some small ball. Zach Granite, who walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth, stole second, advanced to third via groundout, and scored on a wild pitch. Peoria reliever Zach Loraine then allowed three more runs, including a three-run homer from pinch-hitter Trey Vavra.
4/18/15: Peoria Chiefs 15 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4
In the home opener, the Chiefs outdid their first beat down from earlier in the week. An offensive explosion occurred as Peoria strung together 15 runs. 12 of them came within the first three innings.
Fernando Baez took the bump for the Chiefs with a solid outing, going 3 2/3 IP. Rattlers 3B Dustin DeMuth broke Baez’s early no-hit bid to lead off the third, with his shot just passing by leaping Chiefs first baseman Justin Ringo. Baez yielded his first run of the season but also left the game only surrendering three hits and collecting five K’s.
Hot-hitting second baseman Darren Seferina ripped a two-run triple in the second inning down the right field line. Immediately after, Magneuris Sierra brought in Seferina with an RBI triple of his own. Sierra, who has been slumping early on, swung the bat well with three hits and scored three times.
The crowd of 2,942 came to their feet as Rattlers SS Jake Underwood, the Hardee’s Strikeout Player of the Game, approached the plate in the top of the ninth with two outs. With fans at Dozer Park chanting ‘Hardees’, Underwood worked it to a full count against Chiefs righty Kyle Grana. While Grana received a second chance for the strikeout after backstop Steve Bean mishandled a popup behind the plate, Underwood instead flied out to right to end the game.
Fans didn’t go home completely happy with free Hardees, but a Chiefs win definitely helped.
4/19/15: Peoria Chiefs vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Game postponed due to weather. Make-up game scheduled for doubleheader on 4/20.
4/20/15: Game 1; Peoria Chiefs 2 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4 (F/7)
The Chiefs struck first, opening the scoring right away in the bottom of the first with Collin Radack’s RBI single.
The Timber Rattlers struck back though with a three-run third. On a Dustin DeMuth single that scored two, a throwing error by Drake Blake brought in the third run for Wisconsin.
While Danny Diekroeger drove in a run while reaching on an error to make it 3-2, Wisconsin padded the lead with some insurance in the top of the sixth to go up 4-2.
4/20/15: Game 2; Peoria Chiefs 3 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2 (F/7)
Will Anderson put together another quality start for the Chiefs as they split the doubleheader with Wisconsin. After giving up two runs early, Anderson was tough to solve in his six innings pitched.
The Chiefs came back to score their two runs in the bottom of the first. LF Nick Thompson lined a single right back up the middle with two outs. Luis Cruz drove in the second run on a little bloop hit that dropped behind second.
Danny Diekroeger brought in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, reaching on an error from Rattlers shortstop Luis Aviles.
Robby Rowland notched his second save of the season with two strikeouts.
Darren Seferina – The hot hitting continues for the Chiefs second baseman. In his last ten games, Seferina has batted .333, collecting six RBI.
Collin Radack – After a slow start to the 2015 season, Radack is statistically the best hitter on Peoria’s roster, hitting .341 with an OBP of .386. Four of Radack’s five RBI have come in his last two games.
Zach Loraine – The Chiefs reliever had a rough week and is currently standing at an 11.37 ERA after giving up eight earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
April 15: RHP Tyler Bray added from Extended Spring Training (State College)
Midwest League Standings
After a great stretch of 8-2 in their last 10, the Peoria Chiefs have put themselves in a tie for second place with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Both teams remain 1.5 games behind the Midwest League Western leader, the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Peoria continues its six-game homestand and starts a three-game set with Quad Cities Tuesday night. Luis Perdomo (0-0, 1.59 ERA) will take the mound for the Chiefs in the series opener.
The Chiefs will head to Wisconsin for a three-game weekend set before taking next Monday off. Beloit and Burlington will follow at Dozer Park next week.
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