in Fort Wayne - a 5-2 loss

The Wizards lost the final game of their three game series to the Peoria Chiefs 5-2. Cubs top prospect Ryan Harvey showed why he is the Midwest League's home run leader with a three run shot at the top of the ninth to finish off the Wizards. The pre-game promotions of left fielder Chris Kolkhorst, center fielder/designated hitter Matt Thayer and third baseman Brett Dowdy left the Wizard's a little short handed, and the team was unable to produce with runners in scoring position.

The loss negated a quality pitching performance by Wizard's Joel Santo, who threw six solid innings allowing only one run and scattering five hits. A solo home run by Chief's left fielder Bo Flowers was the only hard hit ball off of him all night.

The Wizards squandered early scoring chances when they were unable to capitalize in the bottom of the second with runners on first and third and one out. Chief's pitcher Matt Weber was able to get shortstop Matt Bush and supersub/third baseman Baudillo Figueroa to ground out to end the inning.

In the third inning, with two on and one out, Santo was in a bad jam. With the bases loaded and one out, Santo struck out the league leader in batting, Peoria second baseman Eric Patterson, followed by getting Ryan Harvey, in one of the few successes the Wizards had with him all night, to fly out to left field.

In the sixth inning, Flowers broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run to left center.

Wizard's second baseman Sean Kazmar led off the sixth inning with a bloop single to left center, followed by a single by designated hitter Peter Ciofrone.

Again, the Wizards had an opportunity for a big inning, and first baseman Mike Baxter then hit a line shot to left field. The trouble was it was right at the Chief's left fielder. Consecutive strikeouts by right fielder Tom Vincent and catcher Jose Lobatron ended another scoring opportunity as the Wizards were unable to advance the runner from second base with no outs.

After 93 pitches, right hander Geivy Garcia replaced Joel Santo in the top of the seventh. The Chiefs threatened in the top of the seventh with a walk of first baseman Drew Larsen with one out, followed by a passed ball, which moved Larson to second. Garcia got Anthony Granato on a fly ball to right field and Patterson again could not deliver with a ground out to second base.

The Wizards mounted another rally in the bottom of the seventh when consecutive singles by Figueroa, center fielder Yordany Ramirez and left fielder Josh Alley which loaded the bases with one out. Kazmar then drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game.

That ended the night for Weber and Peoria replaced him with left hander Tim Layden. Layden came in and struck out Ciofrone, followed by a groundout by Bush which ended another golden opportunity for the Wizards to put some runs on the board.

Right hander Brandon Kintzler started the eighth inning for the Wizards, and was greeted by a lead off double by Ryan Harvey, which was followed by another double by center fielder Jason Schmidt. Luckily for the Wizards, Harvey was unable to get a clear view of the ball which froze him at second base and he was only able to advance to third.

Left fielder Bo Flowers then hit a slow dribbler to Bush, who fielded it cleanly but a low throw drew Baxter off of first base for Bush's 35th error of the season and allowed the go ahead run for the Chiefs.

However, the next two plays by Matt Bush demonstrated why people who watch the Wizards on a regular basis will accept the high error totals and the sub .250 hitting.

Chief's shortstop Joe Simokaitis hit a low line drive to the left of Bush, who dove and caught the ball, then quickly rose and made a strong throw to first base, doubling up Flowers at first base. The next batter hit a ball deep into the hole at shortstop, and Bush demonstrated his power arm by gunning down Aaron Smith to get the third out of the inning.

On the error, the ball didn't dip, wasn't low, just straight and true.

"It was a tough error, going away from the play, [Bush] didn't get his footwork underneath him, but that will come with more experience. Under the gun, the game on the line, he comes through. Its like you go back to Little League, you boot a ball you hear your mother yelling 'Go get the next one'. Well, Matt got the next one,", said Wizard's manager Randy Ready after the game.

Tom Vincent opened up the eighth inning by getting hit by a pitch, catcher Jose Lobaton then sacrificed him over, but again the Wizards could not capitalize with runners in scoring position as Bush and Figueroa each grounded out to end the inning.

Ryan Harvey who scored the go ahead run in the eighth inning, effectively ended the game for the second day in a row with a three run home run after Kintzler walked two batters with two outs in the inning.

The Wizards loaded the bases once again in the ninth inning, but again couldn't come through with the big hit despite a bases loaded error by the right fielder on Mike Baxter's fly ball to right field which allowed the Wizard's only other run of the night.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send John an email at Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.

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