The Peoria Chiefs got eight shutout innings from Matt Pearce as they won their fifth consecutive game 4-0 over the first-place Kane County Cougars Sunday night. The win lifts the Chiefs to 54-45 on the season and 21-10 in the second half, only two games behind Kane County for first place in the Western Division.
The game was scoreless through the first four innings before the Chiefs broke through in the fifth against Cougars starter Chris Oliver. Andrew Sohn and Oscar Mercado started the inning with back-to-back singles and Paul DeJong walked to load the bases. After Harrison Bader popped out Alex DeLeon cleared the bases with a double to give the Chiefs the 3-0 lead.
The Chiefs added another run in the sixth against new Kane County pitcher Nick Baker. With one out, Kenny Peoples-Walls crushed the first pitch of the at-bat over the left field wall. The home run is Peoples-Walls’ fourth of the season and first at Dozer Park.
When Pearce retired Elvin Soto on a flyout to center for the second out of the seventh he tied the Midwest League record with 45 innings without allowing a walk, and he broke the record when Quinnton Mack also flew to center. Pearce will carry a league-record 46 1/3 inning walk-less streak into his next start.
Pearce (7-9) got the win, going a career-high eight innings of shutout ball, scattering six hits and striking out three. Dixon Llorens came on to work a perfect ninth, striking out one.