|Fort Wayne, IN- The Peoria Chiefs led 4-1 with one out and nobody on base in the bottom of the ninth inning but ultimately lost 5-4 in 10 innings Tuesday night to the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The loss, their third in a row, drops the Chiefs to 8-10 on the season with five games left on the roadtrip.
The Chiefs got the scoring going on the top of the second against Padres top 10 prospect Logan Allen. R.J. Dennard singled, Chris Chinea walked and Thomas Spitz beat out an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Allen recovered to get a strikeout and a fly out but the Chiefs scored as Eli Alvarez drew a walk. The Chiefs pushed the lead to 2-0 as Edmundo Sosa walked before Allen got Magneuris Sierra to ground out and end the inning.
Peoria couldn’t add on against Allen despite having a runner at second base with nobody out in the third inning. Chiefs starter Derian Gonzalez faced the minimum through four innings as he induced two double plays. Fort Wayne finally got something going in the sixth when Jonathan Pena reached on a dropped third strike and moved to third when the Chiefs made an error on Rod Boykin’s bunt single. Peter Van Gansen’s sacrifice fly cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1 before Ty France singled to right. Thomas Spitz threw a strike to the plate and Boykin was out trying to score from second and France was tagged out on the play by Sosa for a unique 9-2-4-6 inning-ending double play.
Former Bradley University pitcher Eliot Ashbeck threw four scoreless innings for Fort Wayne before the Chiefs scored against him in the seventh. Craig Aikin singled and stole second before Alvarez drove him home with a single for a 3-1 lead. Alvarez also stole second but the Chiefs couldn’t bring him home.
The Chiefs again put runners on first and second in the eighth with no outs against Gerardo Reyes but failed to add on. Peoria did get insurance against Reyes in the ninth with the help of two Fort Wayne errors. Aikin walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alvarez. Sosa beat out an infield single and Aikin scored on a throwing error by Reyes. Sierra reached on an error as well but the Chiefs left runners at second and third to end the innings.
Gonzalez cruised through eight innings and handed a 4-1 lead to the bullpen for the ninth. Stephen De La Cruz, pitching on his 23rd birthday, got the first out in the ninth before walking France. Austin Allen, the Midwest League leader in batting average at .509, doubled to left and Carlos Belen cut the Chiefs lead to 4-2 with a sac fly. Brad Zunica’s single to center scored Allen for a 4-3 game and Nick Frey replaced De La Cruz. In his 2016 Chiefs debut, Frey walked Kodie Tidwell and Pena’s single to right tied the game 4-4. Boykin followed with a walk to load the bases but Frey struck out Van Gansen to send the game to extas.
In the top of the 10th the Chiefs got a one-out single from Spitz and he moved to second on a groundout by Leo Pina. Aikin singled to center but Michael Gettys threw out Spitz at the plate with room to spare to keep the game tied.
France singled with one out in the bottom of the 10th for the TinCaps and Balen doubled to the right-field wall but France was held at third. Frey intentionally walked Daniel Bravo to load the bases and with a full count and two outs, Tidwell singled to center to win the game 5-4 for Fort Wayne.
Gonzalez threw a career-high eight innings and allowed just one run on five hits while walking three and striking out five. De La Cruz suffered his second blown save as he allowed three runs on two hits and a walk in 2/3 of an innings. Frey (0-1) allowed one run on four hits and three walks while striking out two in one inning of work in the loss.
Notes: Sosa extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single in the ninth, the hit streak is the longest in the MWL this season…The Chiefs were 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position while Fort Wayne was 4-for-5…The Chiefs have three saves and four blown saves on the season and are now 0-3 in extra inning games…The Chiefs have blown a three-run lead and a four-run lead in the last six games…Starting pitchers have gone at least five innings in all 18 games…The Chiefs have 10 quality starts from starting pitchers including five in a row…The last three Chiefs starters have all gone eight innings and allowed two runs or less but none have a win to show for it…Last season the Chiefs have just five starts all season of eight innings…In the last three games starting pitchers have gone 24 innings and allowed four runs on 17 hits with 21 strikeouts and four walks for a 1.50 ERA and 0.88 WHIP…In those three games the bullpen has gone 5 2/3 innings while allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits and four walks with four strikeouts for an 11.11 ERA and 2.82 WHIP…The Chiefs lead the MWL with 38 doubles after Orlando Olivera had one Tuesday…Alvarez stole his team-leading seventh base…The Chiefs set a new season high with 11 runners left on base…Peoria is now 1-6 when allowing five runs or more and have four last at-bat losses on the season…The Chiefs are just 6-13 against the TinCaps and 2-10 in Fort Wayne since the start of the 2010 season…The series continues Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. Eastern time as RHP Jake Woodford (0-2, 4.86) faces Padres 2015 third round pick, TinCaps RH Jacob Nix (0-2, 5.87)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 10:50 a.m Eastern., 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 Tune-In Radio App.