Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2015 Week 7

After four consecutive losses, the Cardinals Class-A club finished the 2-4 week with a double-header sweep over Quad Cities, the team with the best record in Minor League Baseball.

This notebook covers Wednesday, May 20 through Monday, May 25.

5/20/15: Peoria Chiefs 0 vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels 8

It wasn’t the weather that delayed this game, but instead, it was an injury. Dewin Perez, the listed starter, turned into a last-minute scratch. While tossing his warmups in the bullpen, Perez was injured and replaced by Nick Lomascolo.

The Chiefs’ offense were the victims of a magic trick as their bats disappeared.

Collin Radack had a base knock with two outs in the bottom of the first. That single turned out to be the Chiefs’ only hit of the game.

The crowd of 1,113 saw a rare occurrence when catcher Luis Cruz took the mound in the top of the ninth. Cruz snuck out of a jam with two runners on and was the only Chiefs pitcher to not allow a run.

Aside from Cruz, the rest of the staff surrendered eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits over eight innings pitched. Lomascolo took the loss.

5/21/15: Peoria Chiefs 2 vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels 3

After a shaky start in which he allowed three in the first, Matt Pearce settled down and threw a solid 5 1/3 innings with three runs yielded on two hits and three punchouts.

The first of two Peoria runs came from Alex Deleon’s solo shot in the bottom of the second. Steve Bean added the second on an RBI ground out that scored Danny Diekroeger in the bottom of the fourth to slim the margin to 3-2.

DeLeon kept the game alive in the bottom of the ninth, working an eight pitch at-bat to a full count and drawing the walk. Oscar Mercado, the league leader in stolen bases, pinch ran for DeLeon with Magneuris Sierra at the plate. On a 1-1 count, Sierra couldn’t hold back a check swing and Mercado took off for second. However, a laser throw from the Kernels backstop nailed the Chiefs speed threat to end the game in thrilling, but disappointing fashion for the Dozer Park crowd.

5/22/15: Peoria Chiefs 1 @ Quad Cities River Bandits 8

Three home runs from the River Bandits spelled out Peoria’s destiny in the series opener.

Fernando Baez didn’t have it in this outing that only lasted 4 1/3 innings. The righty gave up seven runs on 10 hits, including all three River Bandits big flies.

While going 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot, newcomer Vaughn Bryan still added an RBI and the only run for the Chiefs with an RBI groundout in the top of the third.

The Chiefs couldn’t figure out River Bandits starter Daniel Mengden, who went five innings with one run on three hits and four strikeouts while walking only one. Austin Crishmon capped the game off with a four-inning save to deal Peoria with the 8-1 loss.

5/23/15: Peoria Chiefs 0 @ Quad Cities River Bandits 2

A seven-inning outing with one run and seven punchouts usually puts you in line for a guaranteed win. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Luis Perdomo as the Chiefs were dealt with a 2-0 loss.

The runs came late with River Bandit Derek Fisher bringing in the first run in the bottom of the sixth via a RBI single with the bases loaded. Blake McKnight allowed a major insurance run for the River Bandits in the bottom of the eighth as the Chiefs went down quietly, 2-0.

Darren Seferina went 0-for-4 in his return after time spent on the DL with a left thumb contusion.

5/24/15: Peoria Chiefs @ Quad Cities River Bandits

Game postponed due to rain to be played on 5/25 as part of a seven-inning doubleheader.

5/25/15: Peoria Chiefs 8 @ Quad Cities River Bandits 6 (F/7)

The Chiefs looked to Austin Gomber in hopes of snapping their four-game losing streak. Gomber delivered with 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.

The offense came alive in the top of the sixth. A seven-run inning, highlighted by two big jacks, gave the Chiefs a 7-1 lead. Danny Diekroeger (1) and Blake Drake (5) each sent one of out of the park. Diekroeger’s was a pinch-hit homer as he came in to bat for Nick Thompson.

After the lead was cut to 7-4, Robby Rowland went 1 2/3 innings with two runs on three hits to earn his ninth save of the season and give the Chiefs the 8-6 win.

5/26/15: Peoria Chiefs 6 @ Quad Cities River Bandits 3 (F/7)

The Chiefs worked some late-inning magic with four runs in the top of the seventh. In a bullpen game started by Kender Villegas, four relievers pulled out a solid collaboration with three runs, two earned, six strikeouts and seven walks.

With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Oscar Mercado put the Chiefs on top with a single that scored two. Justin Ringo padded on two more vital insurance runs to make it a 6-3 ballgame.

Jhonny Polanco earned his first win of the season and Kyle Grana threw a shutout bottom of the seventh for his sixth save.

Who’s Hot

Luis Perdomo – His record of 1-4 doesn’t truly make a statement on his season as the righty sports an ERA of 1.77. Perdomo is rolling though each of his starts this season but has received little offensive support in his last four outings.

Kender Villegas – In his two appearances during this stretch, the 21-year-old has thrown five innings out of the bullpen with one hit and no runs with eight strikeouts while walking only two.

Who’s Not

Blake Drake – The outfielder has only one bragging point this season and that is his current first-place standing in homers in the clubhouse. Other than that, Drake’s bat has been as cold as you can imagine. His average has plummeted back under .200 and he has only collected one hit through his last seven games.

Fernando Baez – Don’t look now but his ERA is slowly increasing. Baez had a tough outing of seven runs on ten hits this week that brought the ERA up to a season-high 4.81.

Stats of the Week

Prior to Luis Cruz’s appearance on the mound, Richy Pedroza was the last Chiefs position player to pitch, during an 11-0 loss at Cedar Rapids on August 15, 2014.

Vaughn Bryan became the fourth leadoff hitter the Chiefs have used this season.

Standings

The Chiefs still find themselves in the third-place seat in the Midwest League Western Division, five games behind Cedar Rapids and 10 behind Quad Cities.

Transactions

5/21/15: RHP Nick Frey assigned to Peoria Chiefs from GCL Cardinals.
5/21/15: RHP Kender Villegas assigned to Peoria Chiefs from State College Spikes.
5/21/15: LHP Dewin Perez placed on the 7-day DL.
5/21/15: RHP Kevin Alexander placed on the 7-day DL.
5/22/15: OF Vaughn Bryan assigned to Peoria Chiefs from State College Spikes.
5/22/15: OF Collin Radack assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Peoria Chiefs.
5/22/15: 2B Casey Turgeon assigned to State College Spikes from Peoria Chiefs.
5/22/15: Peoria Chiefs activated 2B Darren Seferina from the 7-day DL.
5/26/15: St. Louis Cardinals sent OF Jon Jay on a rehab assignment to Peoria Chiefs.

What’s Next

The Chiefs return to Dozer Park to open a seven-game home stand with three against the Clinton LumberKings and four against the Kane County Cougars.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay will begin his rehab assignment in Peoria starting Tuesday night and is expected to play 2-3 games at Dozer Park. This marks the first time a position player will rehab with the Chiefs since Aramis Ramirez rehabbed in 2010 when the Chiefs were affiliated with the Cubs organization.



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