Peoria, IL-The Peoria Chiefs grabbed four runs early and rode an impressive start from Austin Gomber to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4-2 Saturday night. The win moves the Chiefs to 35-19 in the second half and 68-54 overall, reducing the Chiefs magic number to clinch a playoff spot to five.
The Chiefs grabbed three runs against Timber Rattlers starter Jon Perrin in the first inning. Darren Seferina and Paul DeJong singled and Seferina scored on a single by Harrison Bader for the 1-0 Chiefs lead. DeJong scored on a single by Brian O’Keefe and Bader came home on a single by Nick Thompson to give Peoria the 3-0 lead.
The Chiefs scored another run in the second inning with a two-out rally. Oscar Mercado singled, stole second and scored on a single by DeJong to make it 4-0.
Gomber was outstanding on the hill for the Chiefs. He did not allow a hit through the first four innings, giving up just two hits over six innings of work for his league-leading 14th win of the season, striking out a career-high 10.
The Timber Rattlers plated two runs in the ninth against Chiefs reliever Dixon Llorens. Luis Aviles walked, Tucker Neuhaus singled and Mitch Meyer walked to load the bases. Kyle Grana came in and issued an RBI walk to Sthervin Matos to make it 4-1. Neuhaus scored when Blake Allemand reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-2. Grana got Elvis Rubio to ground out to third to strand the tying run on base and end the game.
Gomber (14-3) hurled six shutout innings, scattering two hits and two walks, fanning 10 batters. Nick Lomascolo tossed a scoreless inning with one hit allowed, striking out one. Llorens pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. Grana earned his team-leading 20th save of the season with 2/3 of an inning, walking one.