Chiefs Sang Game One of Series With Cougars 8-5

The Chiefs scored five funs in the first frame and went on to beat the Midwest League Western Division leading Kane County Cougars 8-5 on Friday. Read all about it in the Game Story.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Hear from Player of the Game Andrew Sohn:

Check out the Peoria Journal Star’s story from last night’s win.

Top Teams Square Off: Chiefs host Cougars for Three Game Set

The Peoria Chiefs (18-10, 51-45) are on a roll to say the least. They have won eight of their last 10 games, are only five games out of first place in the Midwest League Western Division, and hurled a no hitter last night. The Kane County Cougars (23-5, 59-37) ended the first half of the season on a hot streak, but did not secure a playoff birth. However, they are well on their way to clinching one in the second half as they are currently the hottest team in the entire Midwest League.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Friday, July 24: LH Austin Gomber (9-3, 3.10) vs. RH Markus Solbach (9-2, 2.30)

Saturday, July 25: RH Jack Flaherty (5-1, 3.06) vs. LH Josh Taylor (1-1, 2.08)

Sunday, July 26: RH Matt Pearce (6-9, 3.10) vs. RH Chris Oliver (2-0, 4.7)

Things to Watch For:

Western Division Showdown

Kane County and Peoria are the top two teams in the second half and are set for a weekend series that has a playoff-like atmosphere. The Chiefs and Cougars are both playing their best baseball of the season and are both in line to secure the final two playoff spots in the Western Division. The Chiefs have an opportunity to close in on first place while, on the other hand, the Cougars have an opportunity to extend their lead and continue their dominance of the Western Division.

Chief Killers

The Cougars lead the season series 7-3 and there have been a number of reasons as to why. Ildemaro Vargas is torching his former club thus far. Vargas started the 2015 season with the Springfield Cardinals in Double-A, but was released shortly after the season commenced. The Diamondbacks signed him and sent him to Kane County where he has been on fire, especially when playing the Chiefs. In nine games against the Chiefs this season, Vargas is 17-30 (.567) with four doubles, a homer, and two RBI. Chuck Taylor has enjoyed similar success against the Chiefs this season, going 9-18 (.500) with an RBI in six games against Peoria. However, no one has stifled the Chiefs as much as Markus Solbach who will start the opening game of this series. Solbach hurled a complete game shutout at Dozer Park last year when he was playing for South Bend. This year, Solbach tossed seven shutout innings with five strikeouts on May 30, but received a no decision.

Pitch Perfect

The Peoria Chiefs pitching staff has been exceptional over the past two games. Dewin Perez turned in his best start of the season en route to a 2-0 win over Clinton on July 22. The very next day, St. Louis Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia, who was on a rehab assignment with the Chiefs, Steve Sabatino, and Cody Schumacher combined to throw a no hitter in another 2-0 win over Clinton. The Chiefs look to enjoy more pitching success with Austin Gomber, Jack Flaherty, and Matt Pearce on the hill for this series. Gomber has not lost since April 29 and is looking to become the 31st pitcher in Chiefs history to win 10 games in a season. Flaherty notched a win in his only start against Kane County back on June 25. Pearce has not walked a batter in his last six starts.

Chiefs No Hit Clinton 2-0 Thursday

St. Louis Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia, who was on a rehab assignment with the Chiefs, started it off with five innings and a filthy six strikeouts, Steve Sabatino went two and a third innings of relief, and Cody Schumacher finished off the fourth no hitter in Dozer Park history. Read all about it in the Game Recap.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Check out the Peoria Journal Star’s story from last night’s no hitter.

Chiefs Stump LumberKings 2-0 Wednesday

Dewin Perez turned in his best start of the season as the Chiefs evened the series at a game a piece on Wednesday. Read all about it in the Game Story.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Hear from Oscar Mercado postgame:

Check out Peoria Chiefs Beat Writer Dave Eminian’s story from yesterday’s win.

Chiefs Fall To LumberKings in 10 Innings 7-5

The Chiefs mounted a three-run comeback with Brian O’Keefe’s sac fly to tie the game at five in the bottom of the eighth inning, however Clinton grabbed two runs in the tenth and took the opening game of the three-game series. Read all about it in the recap.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Check out Peoria Chiefs Beat Writer Dave Eminian’s story from last night’s loss.

Chiefs Host Struggling LumberKings for Three-Game Stint

The Peoria Chiefs (16-9, 49-44) are coming off a three-game sweep of the Burlington Bees and are currently five games behind Kane County for first place in the Midwest League Western Division. They will face the Clinton LumberKings (5-20, 31-63) who are losers of 11 straight, which isn’t even there longest losing streak of the season. They lost 15 games in a row near the end of the first half of the season.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Tuesday July 21: RH Luis Perdomo (5-7, 2.67) vs. LH Pat Peterson (4-5, 4.42)

Wednesday July 22: LH Dewin Perez (1-2, 10.35) vs. RH Lukas Schiraldi (4-7, 4.60)

Thursday July 23: LH Austin Gomber (9-3, 3.10) vs. RH Zach Littell (2-5, 4.19)

Things To Watch For:

Chiefs Offense Heating Up

There have been a number of Chiefs helping the team to a 13-2 record in their last 15 games by swinging hot bats. Harrison Bader is batting .324 with six runs scored in his past 10 games and is 7-18 (.389) with two doubles against Clinton this season. Luis Cruz has a season-best six-game hit streak and is batting .346 with six RBI in his past 10 games. Alex DeLeon has nine RBI in his last 10 games and had six RBI in the three-game sweep of Burlington. All of Kenny Peoples-Walls three home runs this season have come in his last 10 games. Steve Bean is 11-30 (.367) with two doubles, a triple, and two RBI against Clinton this year. Oscar Mercado is batting a team-best .339 with a double and four RBI against lefties this season, which bodes well for the opening game of this series.

Gomber and Perdomo Continue To Dominate

Luis Perdomo is coming off two fantastic starts, both resulting in wins for the young right hander. Perdomo tossed eight shutout innings allowing only five hits and one walk, fanning eight batters in a win over Quad Cities on July 5. Perdomo followed that start with a seven-inning complete game win over Beloit on July 16, in which he allowed only one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out eight. Perdomo is 5-7 with a 2.67 ERA, 26 walks, and 84 strikeouts over 84 1/3 innings this season and is looking to continue his July success, in which he’s started 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, one walk, and 16 strikeouts over 15 innings. Austin Gomber has been equally as dominant and still has yet to lose a game since April 29. Gomber is off to a 2-0 start with a 1.42 ERA, eight walks, and 20 strikeouts over 19 innings for the month of July. Gomber is currently third in the Midwest League with 96 strikeouts.

LumberKings To Watch Out For

Kristian Brito, Chantz Mack, and Martin Peguero seem to have had the Chiefs number this season. Brito is batting .319 with four doubles, a triple, two homers, and seven RBI against the Chiefs, Mack is batting .326 with six doubles, and 10 RBI, and Peguero is batting .348 with two doubles and an RBI. Peguero is also batting .323 with four doubles and five RBI on the road and is batting .333 with three doubles and four RBI against lefties this season. Mack owns a .314 average, three doubles, a homer, and three RBI against left handers this season. Chris Mariscal is also hammering lefties, batting .396 with five doubles and eight RBI. Lefties Gomber and Dewin Perez both will be put to the test by trying to silence these batters and extend the LumberKings lengthy losing streak.

Chiefs Sweep Burlington, Continue to Rule State of Iowa

The Peoria Chiefs swept their three-game set with Burlington and are only five games out of first place in the Midwest League Western Division. The Chiefs have won seven straight road games for the first time since 2006 and just the third time in franchise history. The Chiefs are 16-9 in the second half and 49-44 overall heading into a six-game home stand.

Here’s how it all happened:

Saturday, July 18: Chiefs 7, Bees 4

Kenny Peoples-Walls and Jake Gronsky played the unlikely heroes in the opening game of the three-game set by both going deep as part of a four-run fourth inning to silence the Bees early. Gronsky, who owned an average below .190 coming into this game, belted a three-run homer to put the Chiefs up 4-0. Peoples-Walls was next up and followed suit with a solo shot of his own to make it 5-0. That would be all the Chiefs needed as Austin Gomber was on his game; Gomber allowed an unearned run on three hits and two walks, striking out seven over seven innings of work en route to his ninth win of the season. Kevin Alexander came in relief of Gomber and gave up a three-run homer in the eighth to cut the Chiefs lead to 6-4, but the Chiefs responded with a run of their own in the very next frame on an Alex DeLeon groundout and the Chiefs cruised to a 7-4 win as Kyle Grana picked up his 12th save of the season. The back-to-back homers by Gronsky and Peoples-Walls marked the third time this season the Chiefs have gone back-to-back with the previous time being at Burlington on July 8 with Gronsky and Luis Cruz hitting consecutive homers. Gomber improved to 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in the state of Iowa and 6-0 overall on the road this season.

Sunday, July 19: Chiefs 14, Bees 6

The Chiefs arrived at the Bees stadium just 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start due to travel issues, but that wouldn’t slow down the Chiefs bats in the blowout win. DeLeon smacked a two-run double with the bases loaded in the first to get the scoring started. The Chiefs grabbed two more runs on a pair of sacrifice flies to increase their lead to 4-0 in only the first inning. Chiefs starter Jack Flaherty gave up a run in the bottom of the inning, but it did little to phase the red-hot Chiefs offense. DeLeon crushed a two-run homer, his ninth of the season, in his very next at bat in the third inning to make it 6-1 Chiefs. In the fourth, Nick Thompson laced a RBI triple, his first triple of the season, and came home on an RBI single by Cruz for a resounding 8-1 lead in only the third inning. The Bees came almost all the way back in the fourth and fifth by putting five runs on the board, cutting the lead to 8-6, and chasing Flaherty from the game with a no decision as he was only able to register four innings of work. However, the Chiefs offense would respond yet again with Peoples-Walls blasting his third home run of the season and second in as many days for an 11-6 lead in the seventh. In the eighth, Brian O’Keefe, making his Peoria Chiefs debut, crushed a two-run homer in the eighth for a 13-6 lead. The Chiefs finished the scoring in the ninth when Mercado tripled and scored on a double play to make it 14-6. DeLeon tied a career-high with four RBI and leads the team with nine homers, Mercado tied a career high and set a new season high with four hits, and Flaherty gave up a career-high five earned runs.

Monday, July 20: Chiefs 6, Bees 3

DeLeon powered the Chiefs early with a pair of RBI in his first two at bats to get the Chiefs on top 2-0 early. Two RBI doubles by Cruz and Mercado in the fifth broke the game open and extended the Chiefs lead to 5-0. Cruz added another run-scoring hit in the sixth to make it 6-0 Chiefs. Chiefs starter Matt Pearce allowed two runs in the sixth and Chiefs reliever Jhonny Polanco, making his first appearance out of the bullpen since June 10, gave up solo homer to Bees catcher Wade Wass in the seventh, but the Chiefs held on for a 6-3 win to complete the three-game sweep of Burlington. Pearce improved to 6-9 on the season after allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits over five innings. Pearce has gone 38 1/3 innings since June 8 without issuing a walk and has won three straight starts. DeLeon is tied for the team lead with 11 must-RBI games this season. Polanco is the eighth pitcher in team history to pitch in 70 career games in a Chiefs uniform. He also moved into the top 15 for career strikeouts with 155.

Chiefs Stun Snappers 3-1 in Rain-Shortened Game

Oscar Mercado laced a two-run single to center to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead before rain would cut the ballgame short in the bottom of the seventh inning. Read all about it in the Game Recap.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Check out Peoria Chiefs Beat Writer Dave Eminian’s story from last night’s win.

Chiefs One-Hit Beloit 1-0 on Wednesday

Nick Thompson’s RBI double in the second inning was all the Chiefs needed as Jhonny Polanco and company combined to throw a one-hit shutout against the Snappers to open up the three-game series. Read all about it in the recap.

Here are the video highlights:

Here are the audio highlights:

Hear from Manager Joe Kruzel postgame:

Check out Peoria Chiefs Beat Writer Dave Eminian’s story from last night’s win.

Chiefs Look to Continue Winning Ways Against Snappers

The Peoria Chiefs (11-8, 44-43) are winners of four straight and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Chiefs are coming off their first four-game sweep in Clinton since 1998 with a 7-2 win over the LumberKings on Monday. The Beloit Snappers (8-10, 34-54) are winners of two straight and are coming off two days of rest since they were rained out Monday and the entire Midwest League had the day off yesterday. This three-game series could prove pivotal for the second half playoff picture as both teams are fighting for a spot and Beloit trails Peoria by only two games.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Wednesday July 15: RH Jhonny Polanco (1-3, 3.92) vs. RH Heath Fillmyer (0-8, 7.77)

Thursday July 16: RH Luis Perdomo (4-7, 2.79) vs. RH Daniel Gossett (3-9, 5.20)

Friday July 17: LH Dewin Perez (1-2, 9.72) vs. RH Junior Mendez (2-6, 4.89)

Things To Watch For:

New Half, New Fire:

After starting the second half with a 3-7 record, the Chiefs have won eight of their last nine games and are currently tied for second place in the Midwest League Western Division with Cedar Rapids. The Chiefs embarked on a six game road trip and finished with a 5-1 record, including their impressive four-game sweep in Clinton. The Chiefs are arguably playing their best baseball of the season and look to continue it in the three-game set with Beloit at Dozer Park.

Young Guns

Much of the recent success has to be due to the additions of 2015 draftees Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong. Bader, the third round pick of this year’s draft out of the University of Florida, has hit safely in all seven games he’s been with the Chiefs. Bader is batting .357 with two doubles, has already stolen four bases successfully, and is proving to be a consistent bat in the middle of the Chiefs lineup. DeJong, the fourth round pick of this year’s draft out of Illinois State University, is batting .294 with a double, triple, homer, and two RBI in his seven games with the club thus far.

DeLeon Favors The Snappers

The Chiefs lead the season series with Beloit 7-2, much in thanks to the bat of Alex DeLeon. He is 14-31 (.452) with six runs scored, two doubles, three homers, and seven RBI this season against the Snappers. In fact, DeLeon owns a home run against both Beloit starters Daniel Gossett and Junior Mendez who he will most likely face on Thursday and Friday.

Back From the Future: Perdomo Comes Home

Chiefs right hander Luis Perdomo is making his first start for the Chiefs since returning from his relief outing in the 2015 Futures Game in Cincinnati at Great American Ballpark. Perdomo faced three batters, including a nasty strikeout to end his day. In addition, Perdomo was named the St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher of the Month for May, started the 2015 Midwest League All Star Game, and has posted a sparkling 2.79 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings this season. Perdomo has done a fantastic job of showcasing his immense talent this season and the Chiefs are ecstatic to have him back in their rotation.

Perez Finally Enters The Win Column

The St. Louis Cardinals’ 30th prospect, according to, has had a shaky 2015 thus far. He started off the year with a three-inning scoreless start on April 12 against Wisconsin, but would hit the Disabled List a day later and would not return until May 1. Perez then lost two of his next three starts without making it past three innings of work before another stint on the DL sidelined him for a month. After two rehab starts in the Gulf Coast League, Perez returned to the Chiefs rotation on Independence Day and allowed five runs on six hits and five walks, striking out one before getting pulled after only two and a third innings. However, Perez bounced back to notch his first win of the season his last time out. Perez allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks, fanning four over five innings of work in a win at Burlington. Perez has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his three-year career and he will look to ride his most recent, solid performance into the finale of this three-game set with Beloit.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers