Peoria, IL-The Peoria Chiefs got home runs from three different hitters as they blew out the Beloit Snappers 15-2 Wednesday night. The win improves the Chiefs to 33-18 in the second half and lowers their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to eight with four games remaining on the current homestand.
The Chiefs started the scoring in the first inning against Snappers starter Daniel Gossett. Andrew Sohn singled with one out, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Beloit catcher Iolana Akau. After Paul DeJong walked, Sohn scored on a single by Alex DeLeon to make it 1-0 Chiefs.
The Chiefs extended their lead in the second. Nick Thompson led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Derek Gibson. Thompson scored on a single by Jake Gronsky for the 2-0 lead. Gronsky came all the way home from first on Darren Seferina’s league-leading 11th triple of the season to make it 3-0 and Seferina scored on a single by Sohn for the 4-0 Chiefs lead.
Peoria added to their lead again in the fourth. Nick Thompson led off with a solo home run to left center. The home run, Thompson’s second in as many games, tied him with DeLeon for the team lead with 11 and gave the Chiefs a 5-0 lead.
The Snappers got on the board in the sixth against Chiefs reliever Tyler Bray. With one out Sanber Pimentel drove a home run to center field, and with two out Justin Higley hit a solo homer to left to cut the Chiefs lead to 5-2.
The Chiefs pushed their lead back to five in the bottom of the sixth against new Beloit pitcher Kevin Johnson. Harrison Bader led off and was hit by a pitch. He scored when Brian O’Keefe drove a home run onto the left-center field concourse for a 7-2 lead.
The Chiefs tacked on two more runs in the seventh against Beloit reliever Lee Sosa. Sohn singled and advanced to second on a passed ball before he came home on a double by DeLeon to make it 8-2. DeLeon scored on a single by Bader for the 9-2 Chiefs lead.
The Chiefs continued piling onto their lead in the eighth. Thompson and Gibson opened the inning with back-to-back singles and Thompson scored on a double by Gronsky to make it 10-2. Gronsky moved to third and Gibson scored on a groundout by Sohn for the 11-2 Chiefs lead. Gronsky scored on a wild pitch to make it 12-2 Chiefs. DeJong walked and DeLeon reached on a Beloit error before Bader connected on a three-run homer to give Peoria the 15-2 lead.
Matt Pearce (9-10) got the win with five shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks, striking out three. Bray worked two innings and allowed two runs on two hits, both solo home runs, striking out three. Steve Sabatino pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing one hit and striking out two. Dixon Llorens worked a perfect ninth, striking out two.