PEORIA - Spurred by two early runs and stellar pitching, the Peoria Chiefs topped the Fort Wayne TinCaps 5-1 on Saturday night in front of 5,120 fans. The win opens a three-game series and moves the Chiefs to 12-12 on the season and 2-0 on the homestand.
After Kurt Heyer tossed a scoreless top half of the first inning, the Chiefs manufactured a run off Zach Elfin in the bottom of the frame. Breyvic Valera led off with an infield hit and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Alex Mejia. Jacob Wilson drove in Valera on a sacrifice fly to center field, his team leading 24th RBI this season, and the Chiefs led 1-0 after the first inning.
The TinCaps answered with a quick run in the top of the second inning. Gabriel Quintana led off the frame with a home run to left field, his third long ball of the season. The homer tied the game at 1-1 and was the first allowed by Heyer in his pro career.
The Chiefs got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on another sacrifice fly. Carson Kelly reached second with his fifth double of the season. Two batters later, Kelly moved to third on a Charlie Tilson infield single and scored on a Nick Martini sacrifice fly to center field, putting the Chiefs up 2-1.
Peoria padded their lead with a score in the fourth. Kelly reached on a fielding error by shortstop Stephen Carmon to open the inning, and moved up to second on an Eflin wild pitch. With two outs Quintana booted Gerwuins Velazco's ground ball to third base. The second error of the inning scored Kelly, extending the Chiefs lead to 3-1.
After a 39 minute rain delay, the Chiefs added a pair of runs in the seventh inning. With two outs Mejia cracked his sixth double of the season. Wilson followed with a single to center to score Mejia, and moved to third on a Patrick Wisdom single. Kelly followed with a single, the fourth hit in a row for the Chiefs, plating Wilson. Kelly's second RBI this season put the Chiefs up 5-1 after seven innings and proved to be the final run of the game.
Heyer (2-0) allowed one run on three hits and two walks in five innings pitched while striking out four. Zach Petrick pitched two innings, striking out four on one hit without surrendering a run. Joe Donofrio struck out one and allowed one hit in one scoreless inning pitched. Michael Aldrete gave up no runs or hits and struck out two in one inning pitched while walking one.