Jordan Hicks (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Insider news from the St. Louis Cardinals’ Midwest League affiliate in Peoria for the period of April 11-17.

After riding a three-game winning streak, the Peoria Chiefs are now in the midst of an early-season three-game losing skid. Jordan Hicks is pitching like an ace.

Game Summaries

Tuesday, April 11: Game 1 Peoria Chiefs 0 vs. Quad Cities River Bandits 2

                             Game 2 Peoria Chiefs 3 vs. Quad Cities River Bandits 2

The Peoria Chiefs were shut out for the first time this season in Game 1 of their Tuesday double header with the Quad Cities River Bandits.

Chiefs starter Jon Kilichowski gave up a double to the River Bandits leadoff man, who was brought home on a sacrifice fly to give Quad Cities an early 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs could not get the bats going as they could only squeeze out two hits over the seven innings. Peoria showed some life in the final frame when Andrew Knizner singled to right field with one out and Brian O'Keefe followed with a walk. After Andrew Young struck out, Nick Plummer was hit by a pitch to load the bases and put the tying run in scoring position. Danny Hudzina could not capitalize however, as he went down swinging to end the game.

Kilichowski (0-1) went four innings in his first start of the year, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in the loss.

Game 2 of the double header started slowly as neither team scored through the first four innings. Ryan McCarvel broke through in the fifth with his second home run of the year to put the Chiefs up 1-0. Vince Jackson followed with a walk and was driven in by a Tommy Edman single to give Peoria a 2-0 lead.

Chiefs starter Bryan Dobzanski let the River Bandits back in the game the next inning as he gave up one run and let another score on a passed ball, allowing Quad Cities to tie it up.

In the bottom of the seventh, Plummer hit a two-out double to put himself in scoring position. Edman again came through, singling to shallow left field to bring home Plummer for the walk-off 3-2 win.

Dobzanski went six innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with a strikeout in the no decision. Estarlin Arias (1-0) earned his first win of the year, pitching an inning of no-hit baseball while allowing a walk with one strikeout.

 

Wednesday, April 12: Peoria Chiefs 3 vs. Quad Cities River Bandits 2 (10 innings)

It took extra innings, but the Chiefs were able to capture the series against Quad Cities as they enjoyed a walk off win for the second straight game.

The Chiefs were first to get on the board in the second inning when Ryan McCarvel stayed hot by hitting his second homer in as many games, a solo shot to give Chiefs starter Jordan Hicks a 1-0 lead.

The River Bandits moved ahead in the top of the eighth, 2-1. The Chiefs struck back in the bottom of the inning when Tommy Edman tripled into the right field corner with two outs. Edman came in to score on a wild pitch, which tied the game at 2.

In the 10th inning, Plummer led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Craig Aikin. J.R. Davis came through in the next at-bat, driving home Plummer on a single to give the Chiefs the 3-2 win.

Hicks went 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run and took a no-decision. He finished his stint allowing six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Martinez allowed two runs on two hits with a walk, a strikeout, and took a blown save. Eric Carter (1-0) earned the win, pitching two innings with one hit, one walk, and two strikeouts.

 

Thursday, April 13: Peoria Chiefs 7 @ Beloit Snappers 3

The Chiefs scored two runs in the top of the first and won their third straight with a 7-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers on Thursday.

The Peoria offense got off to a great start against Beloit starter Matt Millburn. Tommy Edman beat out an infield single and moved to third on a double to right field by J.R. Davis. Stefan Trosclair doubled to the wall in left for a 2-0 lead before Brian O'Keefe worked a walk. Millburn recovered from there to strike out three straight and limit the Chiefs damage to two runs.

After struggling in his last start, Ronnie Williams cruised through the first two innings without allowing a base runner and the Chiefs offense continued to dominate. Trosclair walked to start the third, O'Keefe followed with a single and Ryan McCarvel walked to load the bases. Dylan Carlson's sacrifice fly to center put the Chiefs up 3-0 and ended Millburn's night. Heath Bowers came out of the bullpen and gave up a sacrifice fly to Vince Jackson for a 4-0 lead before he got out of the inning.

After Williams gave up a leadoff home run in the seventh, Spencer Trayner relieved the starter. Beloit picked up two more runs to cut the Chiefs’ lead to one before Trayner got out of the inning.

Peoria responded immediately in the top of the eighth as McCarvel walked and Carlson singled. Danny Hudzina doubled off the wall in left for a 6-3 Chiefs lead. Hudzina then stole second and came in to score on a throwing error for the final run.

Williams (1-0) earned the win as he allowed three runs on five hits over six innings while striking out five. Trayner threw two shutout innings and gave three hits while striking out two. Greg Tomchick threw a scoreless ninth on two singles and a strikeout.

 

Friday, April 14: Peoria Chiefs 4 @ Beloit Snappers 5

Peoria allowed three home runs as a pair of two-run leads slipped away in a 5-4 loss to the Beloit Snappers. The loss ended the Chiefs’ three-game winning streak.

For the second night in a row the Chiefs put two on the board in the first inning against the Snappers. Tommy Edman doubled to right field off fill-in starter Boomer Biegalski and Andy Young launched a long home run just inside the left-field fair pole for a 2-0 lead.

Chiefs starter Ian Oxnevad gave up single runs in each of the first two frames to tie the game.

The Chiefs responded immediately in the top of the third. Young singled to center with one out and scored all the way from first on a single and an error. Stefan Trosclair beat out an infield single to shortstop and the when Edwin Diaz's throw went into right field, Young scored while Trosclair was thrown out at second.

Peoria added on in the fifth inning as Edman doubled to left-center with one out and scored on a single to right by Trosclair for a 4-2 Chiefs lead.

Beloit tied the game again in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Ramon Santos. With one out in the inning, Collin Theroux hit his second homer of the night, a two-run shot, to tie the game.

Brady Bowen took over in the eighth and retired the first two batters before Beloit’s third home run of the night gave them a 5-4 advantage. The Chiefs had the tying run on second with one out in the bottom of the ninth but a strikeout and pop up ended the game.

Oxnevad took a no-decision as he allowed two runs on three hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out five. Santos yielded two runs on two hits over 2 2/3 innings while striking out one. Bowen (0-1) took the loss after giving up one run on one hit over one inning, striking out one.

 

Saturday, April 15: Peoria Chiefs 0 @ Beloit Snappers 12

The Chiefs suffered their first series loss on the season as they were shut out in a 12-0 loss to the Beloit Snappers. Peoria was outclassed as Beloit launched three homers and outhit them 16-5.

Once again the Chiefs started quickly in the first inning with two of their five hits as Stefan Trosclair and Andrew Knizner both singled with two outs against Brendan Butler. But the Snappers righty retired Brian O’Keefe and did not allow another base runner until the sixth inning

Beloit got on the board in the third inning when Edwin Diaz hit his second home run of the series for a 2-0 lead. Steven Farinaro, making his 2017 debut, faced the first three batters in the fifth inning and left with the Chiefs down 3-0. Dailyn Martinez allowed a single and a sacrifice fly as Beloit took a 5-0 lead.

The Snappers put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. With two on base Javon Shelby hit a three-run homer to left field for an 8-0 lead. After another single, Eric Carter replaced Martinez as the Chiefs third pitcher of the day. A single and double put the Snappers on top 10-0 and Miguel Mercedes made it 12-0 with his second homer in as many days.

Farinaro (0-1) allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings while striking out four. Martinez was charged with four runs on six hits over one inning. Carter yielded three runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in one inning. Estarlin Arias threw two perfect frames with three strikeouts.

 

Tuesday, April 17: Peoria Chiefs 2 vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels 8

The Chiefs were outhit once again in an 8-2 loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Kernels blasted four home runs as part of a 16-hit night.

The Kernels got on the board in the first inning against John Kilichowski, when Jermaine Palacios singled from the leadoff spot and moved to second base when Travis Blankenhorn was hit by a pitch. Palacios scored when Mitchell Kranson singled to left-center to make it 1-0, but Blankenhorn was thrown out at home plate to stop the damage from getting any worse.

Cedar Rapids added to their lead in the second inning with a pair of singles to give them a 2-0 advantage. Vince Jackson helped Kilichowski get out of the inning, throwing out Brandon Lopez at the plate for his second outfield assist of the game.

In the bottom of the second, the Chiefs got on the board with a Ryan McCarvel home run, his fourth of the season, to make it a 2-1 Kernels lead. Cedar Rapids answered back immediately in the bottom half with a solo home run of their own to make it 3-1.

Cedar Rapids led off with another home run in the fifth and also homered for Cedar Rapids in the sixth, putting the Kernels up 5-1. The Knight picked up another run in the eighth inning off a pair of hits to give them a 6-1 lead.

Peoria narrowed the gap in the bottom half of the inning when Shane Billings led off with a single to shallow right field. With two outs, Stefan Trosclair tripled to deep right field and scored Billings to make it 6-2.

In the ninth, the Knights hit their third home run of the game a two-run shot that gave them an 8-2 lead and ultimately put the game out of reach.

Kilichowski (0-2) allowed five runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out five. Spencer Trayner went two innings without a run or a hit, with three strikeouts and a walk. Greg Tomchick gave up three runs on four hits and three walks with one strikeout.

 

Who’s Hot

Jordan Hicks - Through two starts, the right-hander has been superb, posting an ERA of 0.00. In 12 innings, Hicks allowed just nine hits, five walks, and struck out seven.

http://www.scout.com/player/171616-estarlin-arias?s=321

Estarlin Arias – In 4 1/3 innings over three games, the reliever has been nails, allowing just one baserunner, via a walk. Arias fanned four, has a win and the team’s only save.

http://www.scout.com/player/200681-ryan-mccarvel?s=321

Ryan McCarvel - In his last five games played, the catcher had four hits, including three home runs, to provide a power surge to the Chiefs offense. Oddly, he has just six RBI on the season to go with his four long balls. His home run total leads the Chiefs and is tied for second in the league.

Stefan Trosclair – The first baseman is second on the team with five RBI and is batting a cool .333 through eight games.

http://www.scout.com/player/209596-andrew-knizner?s=321

Andrew Knizner – The catcher leads the team with a .385 batting average, fourth-best in the MWL.

Brian O’Keefe – Not only is the other catcher batting .333, but in an oddity, he also leads the team in stolen bases with two, in two attempts.

 

Who’s Not

John Kilichowski – The left-hander has struggled through his first two starts of the season, taking two losses while posting an ERA of 6.00 and giving up 16 hits in nine innings of work.

Greg Tomchick – The reliever has been charged with five earned runs in five innings for an untidy 9.00 ERA on seven hits and five walks.

Dailyn Martinez – The veteran is struggling out of the bullpen with 11 hits allowed and six runs home in his first 6 2/3 innings, for an 8.10 ERA.

Dylan Carlson – Making the jump from the Gulf Coast League has been a challenge in the early going for the outfielder. Carlson has a whopping 16 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances and has two singles, a double and four walks for a .103/.229/.241/.570 start with the Chiefs.

Vince Jackson – The former Tennessee star, who moved up from State College in 2016, is also having big trouble at the plate. Jackson has just two singles and two walks in 23 plate appearances. His line is .095/.160/.095/.255.

 

Stats

From leading the league last week at .291, the Chiefs offense has fallen all the way to 11th at .227 for the season. Their OPS of .648 is 10th. On the pitching side, the team ERA of 4.02 is 12th in the 16-team MWL after ranking fourth last week. The starters’ ERA is 3.35 and the Peoria bullpen has jumped to 3.82.

 

First-half standings – Midwest League Western Division 

CLUB W L PCT GB
Kane County Cougars (ARI) 8 3 0.727 -
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 6 5 0.545 2
Burlington Bees (LAA) 5 5 0.500 2.5
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 5 5 0.500 2.5
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 5 6 0.455 3
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) 5 6 0.455 3
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 5 6 0.455 3
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 4 7 0.364 4

Transactions

4/13: OF Craig Aikin retired.

4/14: 2B Matt Davis assigned to Peoria Chiefs from Johnson City Cardinals.

4/14: CF Shane Billings assigned to Peoria Chiefs from Johnson City Cardinals.

 

Injuries

4/14: Peoria Chiefs placed OF Nick Plummer on the 7-day disabled list. Oblique strain.

OF Bryce Denton remains on the DL, recovering from appendicitis.

 

What is Next

After finishing up a home series against Cedar Rapids (MIN), the Chiefs will hit the road as they travel to Wisconsin to take on the Timber Rattlers (MIL) and then head to Iowa for a road series with the Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU).

 

Follow Nick Konow on Twitter @NickKonow1.

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