Peoria, IL– The Peoria Chiefs got a great pitching performance from Fernando Baez and two timely this to knock off the Burlington Bees 2-1 Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the three-game series. The win moves the Chiefs to 12-12 on the season as they finish a 4-2 homestand and head off to a 10-game Iowa roadtrip.
Burlington got on the board first for the third game in a row when they scored in the top of the second against Chiefs starter Fernando Baez. Zach Houchins tripled off the top of the left-field wall and scored on a sacrifice fly by Natanael Delgado for the 1-0 lead.
Peoria tied the game in the bottom of the third inning against former Illinois State pitcher Jeremy Rhoades. With one out, Blake Drake lined a solo home run over the left-field wall and into the berm for a 1-1 score. The homer is Drake’s third of the homestand and on the season.
The Chiefs took the lead in the bottom of the seventh against Ronnie Muck. Alex DeLeon led off with a walk and was out at second on a fielders’ choice bunt by Magneuris Sierra. Steve Bean doubled to left and when the ball hit off the glove of Raul Linares, Sierra sped home for the 2-1 Chiefs lead.
Baez logged a career-best six innings while allowing one run on five hits and two walks while striking out five in the no-decision. Blake McKnight (2-1) earned the win as he allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one over 1 2/3 shutout innings. Robby Rowland earned his third save with 1 1/3 shutout innings and two strikeouts.
Notes: The Chiefs have homered in six straight games after hitting one long ball in their first 18 contests…Drake leads the Chiefs with three home runs, also solo shots…Baez logged a career-high six innings…He is the sixth different starting pitcher to record a quality start on the season and the Chiefs have 10 as a staff…The two teams were a combined 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position…Mercado has an nine-game hit streak with an eighth inning single…The Chiefs stole two more bases on Sunday and swiped 11 bags in the three-game series without being caught…The Chiefs are 3-3 in one-run games and 11-4 when allowing four runs or less this season…Peoria started the day Saturday with a MWL-best 40 stolen bases…Peoria starts a 10-game, 11-day roadtrip on Monday with a 6:30 p.m. start in Clinton…The Chiefs will start RH Luis Perdomo (1-0, 1.59) while the LumberKings have not yet provided information on a starting pitcher…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:15 p.m., on www.peoriachiefs.com/listenlive which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android…The broadcast is also available on the Peoria Chiefs Network in the MiLB Inside the Park and Tune-In Radio Apps.