Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2015 Week 4

The Peoria Chiefs received a major power surge with eight homers in five straight games. The Chiefs went 4-3 during the week and sit one game under .500 at 12-13, which puts them in fourth in the division.

This notebook covers the period of 4/28 to 5/4.

4/28/15: Peoria Chiefs 7 vs. Beloit Snappers 1

The Peoria Chiefs shook off their six-game skid and snapped Beloit’s four-game win streak in this one-sided affair. Chiefs right-hander Luis Perdomo threw a dominant six innings with only one run on five hits.

It was a pitcher’s duel for most of this game, as both starters didn’t allow their first runs until the fifth inning. In the top of the frame, Snappers SS Yairo Munoz singled in leadoff man Brett Vertigan. Chiefs LF Blake Drake knotted things back up in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot. Drake’s first home run of the season was also his first hit at Dozer Park this season.

The runs came aplenty with the offense erupting for six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Drake came up with another big hit in the inning as he cleared the bases with a double to make it a 6-1 game.

Peoria’s bullpen did a stellar job, not allowing any runs in the final three frames. Struggling reliever Zach Loraine pitched two scoreless innings, and Kyle Grana closed out the ninth to seal the deal for Peoria.

4/29/15: Peoria Chiefs 4 vs. Beloit Snappers 5

On a beautiful afternoon at Dozer Park, the Chiefs fell just short. Danny Diekroeger collected the first hit of the game in the bottom of the first. However, as a result of taking his time getting to first base on dropped popup, the third baseman was pulled from the game between innings. Manager Joe Kruzel said that Diekroeger will be "fine for tomorrow's game" but had no further comment.

Chiefs southpaw Austin Gomber looked to shake off his previous rocky start against the Quad Cities River Bandits. Gomber allowed eight runs on six hits, but he definitely came back for this one. The lefty raked in seven innings of work, only allowing two runs on five hits.

Chiefs SS Oscar Mercado showed off his wheels in the bottom of the third. After being hit by a pitch with one out, Mercado swiped second and third that set up an RBI opportunity for RF Collin Radack.

Radack, who came in for the benched Diekroeger, answered the call and brought in Mercado to put the Chiefs up, 1-0.

The lead wouldn’t hold for too long, though, as the Snappers brought in two with SS Edwin Diaz’s double in the top of the fifth. DH Yairo Munoz put a power surge into one in the top of the eighth with his three-run homer, making it 5-1.

The Chiefs wouldn’t go away quietly with a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Alex De Leon’s two-run shot to left. With the tying run on first in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Richy Pedroza grounded in to a game-ending double play, as the Snappers snuck out of this one with a win.

4/30/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 vs. Beloit Snappers 1

In 5 2/3 innings pitched, Chiefs right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon’s only flaw came via a solo homer in the top of the fourth. The starter continued his stellar season, only allowing one run on three hits and fanning seven hitters.

LF Blake Drake broke open the scoring again via the long ball in the bottom of the third. Catcher Steve Bean had a sac fly that gave the Chiefs the 2-1 lead in the fourth. Collin Radack added an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI single that scored Oscar Mercado.

Once again, the Chiefs bullpen strung together an impressive outing to hold the lead, highlighted by Blake McKnight’s two scoreless innings. Kyle Grana earned his third save of the season, striking two out of the three faced in the ninth.

5/1/15: Peoria Chiefs 10 vs. Burlington Bees 8

Dewin Perez made his first start since coming off the disabled list (finger blister) and was in some trouble early in the top of the first. After Bees leadoff hitter Jake Yacinich walked and snagged second, 2B Andrew Sohn bailed out Perez by snagging a liner and diving towards second base to catch Yacinich leaning off of second. Perez’s evening did not last long as he went only two innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and walking five.

A half-inning after the Bees reclaimed the lead, another player coming off the DL contributed in a big way. Chiefs LF Nick Thompson hit a mammoth shot into left-center in the bottom of the seventh. The homer that nearly left Dozer Park made it an 8-6 ballgame.

The Chiefs completed their come-from-behind victory with a four-run bottom of the eighth. With his fourth hit of the night, RF Collin Radack tied the game with a two-run single up the middle with one out. After a Thompson walk, DH Justin Ringo brought in two runs of his own with another single that plated two.

In the top of the ninth, Chiefs reliever Robby Rowland allowed an unearned run, but that was it. The Chiefs claimed victory, 10-8.

5/2/15: Peoria Chiefs 6 vs. Burlington Bees 7 (F/12)

Fans at Dozer Park received some free baseball, as nine wasn’t enough to find a winner in this one.

The bullpen bailed out Chiefs starter Matt Pearce, who allowed five runs in five innings.

Chiefs skipper Joe Kruzel sent out a new lineup that slotted struggling CF Magneuris Sierra at seventh and resurrecting Darren Seferina to the leadoff spot. Kruzel’s motive behind the lineup change was to give Sierra a new view.

While he only collected one hit, it was a big one. Sierra hit a towering drive that left Dozer Park down the right field line to tie the game at six in the bottom of the 11th.

Catcher Steve Bean and first baseman Justin Ringo both went deep earlier. Ringo also came up clutch in the bottom of the eighth with the game-tying two-run single.

Blake McKnight couldn’t get out of a jam in the top of the 12th. An RBI-single from Bees LF Caleb Adams brought in the go-ahead run, dealing the Chiefs the 7-6 loss.

5/3/15: Peoria Chiefs 2 vs. Burlington Bees 1

Fernando Baez took the bump for the Chiefs and put together a superb start. While receiving the no-decision, Baez tossed six innings of four hit ball with only one run and striking out five.

LF Blake Drake took the ball out of the park again to tie the game at one in the bottom of the third.

Thanks to some small ball, the Chiefs took the lead in the seventh inning. Magneuris Sierra reached base after a failed attempt to advance Alex De Leon from first. The speedy Sierra came in to score on a Steve Bean double, making it a 2-1 game.

Blake McKnight allowed only one hit in 1 2/3 innings and Robby Rowland was perfect, earning the four-out save.

5/4/15: Peoria Chiefs 0 @ Clinton LumberJacks 2

A quality start from Luis Perdomo wasn’t enough for the Chiefs. Perdomo went 6 2/3 innings with two runs allowed and striking out seven.

Clinton’s only two runs came in the bottom of the second. A passed ball brought in the first and DH Chantz Mack knocked in the second with a single to right. Chiefs RF Blake Drake fired a ball from the outfield to hold the LumberJacks to only one run on that play.

The offense couldn’t support the right-hander’s excellent effort in this one. While out-hitting the LumberJacks, the Chiefs had no answers for LumberJacks starter Lukas Schrialdi, who went six innings allowing four hits and no runs.

Oscar Mercado, who currently holds a nine-game hitting streak, had the night off.

Who’s Hot

Oscar Mercado – During his current nine-game hitting streak, Mercado has also stolen eight bases. Overall, Mercado is the league leader in stolen bases with 15.

Luis Perdomo – The right-hander put together two quality starts, splitting both appearances. In 12 2/3 innings pitched, Perdomo has only allowed three runs to cross the plate and he has struck out 10.

Who’s Not

Magneuris Sierra – Being bumped down to seventh in the lineup, Sierra has only collected five hits in his last 34 at-bats; a batting average of .147.

Darren Seferina – His hot start to the season is starting to cool down as Seferina is hitting a mere .111 in his last 10 games. Seferina has also K’d 13 times through this span.


5/1/15: Chiefs released RHP Zach Loraine and IF Richy Pedroza.
5/1/15: Chiefs activated LHP Dewin Perez for 7-day DL.
5/1/15: Chiefs activated OF Nick Thompson from 7-day DL.


Sitting at 12-13 overall, the Peoria Chiefs are in fourth place, behind the Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, and Quad Cities River Bandits, who are also the league’s best team at 19-6.

What’s Next

The Chiefs will have to pack heavily with an extensive road trip of 10 games. Peoria will hit the road with three against the Burlington LumberJacks, three with the Burlington Bees, and finally four with Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Chiefs return home on May 15, opening up a series with the Beloit Snappers.

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