PEORIA - The Peoria Chiefs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Burlington Bees Wednesday night as the visitors left the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the ninth inning. With the victory the Chiefs are 66-59 on the year and 28-30 in the second half, three games behind Clinton for the final wild card spot.
The Bees grabbed the early lead with a run off Silfredo Garcia in the top of first inning. Sherman Johnson led off with a double and moved to third as Angel Rosa grounded out to first. Johnson was thrown out at home attempting to score on an Exicardo Cayones grounder to Bruce Caldwell at second, while Cayones reached first and moved to second on a Wade Hinkle walk. With two on and two outs Julio Concepcion singled to bring in Cayones, putting the Bees up 1-0 before Garcia escaped the inning.
The Chiefs tied the game in the bottom of the second with one swing against Ryan Crowley. With one out Nick Martini launched a home run to right field, tying the game at 1-1 with his first long ball of the season.
Peoria took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Caldwell reached on a leadoff walk and with one out Martini moved him to second with a single. Breyvic Valera put the Chiefs on top 2-1 with a single to right as Caldwell scored. Juan Herrera walked to load the bases by Crowley escaped the jam with a pop up and a groundout.
After Garcia pitched five strong innings, the Bees threatened to score against Thomas Lee in the sixth. Cayones and Hinkle reached on back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. However, Lee got Concepcion to pop out, Zach Wright to strike out and Garrett Cannizaro to fly out to escape the inning with the 2-1 lead intact.
The Bees threatened once more in the ninth by putting runners at the corners with only one out against Peoria closer Dixon Llorens. With one out Cannizaro singled and moved to third on a Riley Good base-knock. Burlington attempted a game-tying suicide squeeze as Wendell Soto bunted the ball toward the mound. Llorens snagged the bunt and flipped it home in one motion as Jonathan Keener tagged out Cannizaro for the second out. With two outs and the tying run at second Llorens retired Johnson on a comebacker to snap the Chiefs four-game losing streak.
Garcia (4-4) pitched five innings giving up one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Lee pitched three scoreless innings giving up three hits, no walks and striking out five to earn his third hold of the season. Llorens earned his 11th save pitching one inning while giving up two hits and fanning one.