Cedar Rapids, IA – The Peoria Chiefs scored three runs in the top of the first and got great pitching to beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. With two straight wins the Chiefs are back to .500 in the second half at 21-21 and 61-51 overall on the season.
The Chiefs game Tyler Beardsley a rude welcome to the Midwest League as the newest Kernels pitcher walked Magneuris Sierra to start the game. Sierra stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Kevin Garcia before he scored on a single from Jose Martinez. Eli Alvarez singled to left and Brian O’Keefe walked to load the bases. Martinez scored on a passed ball before Jose Godoy walked to reload the bases. Matt Davis flew out to right and Alvarez scored for a 3-0 lead on another throwing error by Garcia.
Chiefs starter John Kilichowski retired the first eight Kernels he faced before allowing three straight singles in the third. The last of those hits, a single by Sean Miller, cut the Chiefs lead to 3-1. Luis Arraez singled to right and Carlos Torres threw a strike to the plate to nail Christian Ibarra and end the inning.
The game was till 3-1 when Kilichowski left after a career-high seven innings. Nick Frey took over out of the Chiefs bullpen and with one out Ibarra launched a long foul ball down the left-field line. However the ball was ruled fair for a solo home run despite an argument from Chiefs skipper Joe Kruzel. The homer, Ibarra’s second of the series, cut the Chiefs lead to 3-2.
Frey issued a leadoff walk to Jailyn Davis in the ninth but picked him off first base for the first out. With two down, the Kernels got a pair of singles to put the tying run on third and the winning run at first. Nelson Molina pinch-hit for Manny Guzman and flew out to right to end the game.
Kilichowski (1-1) earned the win with seven innings in which he allowed one run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Frey earned his fourth save as he allowed one run on three hits over two innings of work.
Notes… Kilichowski threw a career-high seven innings and has two quality starts in his two Chiefs outings…The first 60 wins of the season were earned by right-handed pitchers before Kilichowski’s win on Sunday…Peoria has won consecutive road games for the first time since June 24-25 in Burlington…The Chiefs are 9-18 in day games…Peoria is 4-1 in Cedar Rapids this season and 7-1 against the Kernels with six games left in the season series…The Chiefs are 21-15 in one-run games and 56-21 when holding opponents under four runs…The Chiefs were outhit 9-4 and all four hits were singles…Alvarez has a hit in both games since coming off the DL…Craig Aikin made a leaping catch at the wall to deny Garcia of extra bases, and maybe a home run…Torres has two outfield assists…Sierra stole two bases and is now third in the MWL with 26, one more than Alvarez…All of the Chiefs pickoffs this season have been by right-handed pitchers…The Chiefs have 12 wins on Saturday, more than any other day of the week…Game three of the series is at 6:35 p.m. Monday with Chiefs RHP Jake Woodford (4-4, 2.94)…facing Kernels RHP Sam Gibbons (5-3, 5.00)…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:20 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 Tune-In Radio App.