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MWL: Kernels Swept Again by Chiefs

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA The Peoria Chiefs swept a doubleheader from the Kernels on Wednesday night, winning 4-3 and 5-3. The Chiefs also swept a doubleheader from the Kernels on Tuesday night as they took all four games in the series. The Kernels head to Burlington on Thursday, opening up a four-game commuter series at Community Field.

In game one, Peoria edged the Kernels 4-3. The Chiefs got on the scoreboard in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.  After loading the bases with no outs, Kenny Peoples-Walls grounded into a double-play to bring home CJ McElroy, Jr. for the early score. Peoria added another run, this time unearned, in the top of the fourth when Michael Schulze drove in Jimmy Bosco on a Kernels fielding error.  The ball skipped under the glove of second baseman Tanner Vavra and allowed the Chiefs to take a 2-0 lead.

Kohl Stewart exited the ballgame after pitching four innings.  The Kernels starter allowed two runs, one being unearned, on four hits while striking out three and walking two.

The Kernels responded in the bottom of the fourth with two runs with two outs.  Michael Quesada and Joel Licon hit back-to-back RBI-singles to tie the game at 2-2.

Left-hander Brandon Bixler (2-2) came to the mound in the top of the fifth frame.  The reliever surrendered two runs on three hits in his three innings on the mound. Peoria regained the lead 3-2 in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI-single by Peoples-Walls into center field.

Jimmy Reed came out for the Chiefs after five innings on the hill where he allowed two runs on five hits.

Mitch Garver knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Licon plated Mitch Garver, who led-off the inning with a base-hit, on a one-out RBI-single to deep left. Reliever Keven Herget entered from the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth and allowed the run to score. He went 1/3 of an inning and gave up one run on three hits.

Jhonny Polanco (1-0) finished the bottom of the sixth on the hill for Peoria by getting out of an inherited bases-loaded jam with only one out.  The right-hander pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before exiting in the seventh.

The Chiefs answered with the go-ahead run in the top of seventh as they took a 4-3 lead. McElroy, Jr. singled and went to second base on a sacrifice bunt. He then stole third base and came home to score when catcher Michael Quesadas throw went down the left field line.

Zach Loraine entered with one out in the seventh and picked up his fourth save after preserving the 4-3 lead.

In game two, Peoria jumped ahead of the Kernels in the top of the first inning by scoring five runs on four hits and one error with all nine batters coming to the plate. The first five hitters all reached base, and they all scored before the Kernels recorded an out. McElroy, Jr. singled and Cesar Valera walked to start the inning. Juan Herreras RBI single plated McElroy to get the scoring started. A single loaded the bases, and then two runs scored on a dropped fly ball by center fielder Ivory Thomas off the bat of Ronald Castillo. Steve Bean then plated two more with a RBI single, making the score 5-0.

The Kernels tallied three runs in the third inning, cutting the deficit to 5-3. The first three hitters reached base to load the bases. Licon came home to score on an infield RBI single by J.D. Williams. Chad Christensen then went the opposite way for a two-run double down the right field line, scoring both B.K. Santy and Ivory Thomas.

Derrick Penilla (0-1) started for the Kernels and went three innings in the loss. He allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits. He struck out five and walked one. Todd Van Steensel was excellent in four scoreless innings of relief-work. He allowed only one hit while striking out five and walking none.

Chase Brookshire started for Peoria, going three innings. He allowed three runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one. Steve Sabatino (1-0) picked up the win, going three scoreless innings. Chris Thomas pitched the seventh inning for his sixth save.

The Kernels begin a commuter series at Burlington, the Midwest League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. RHP Felix Jorge (2-3, 8.89) will start for the Kernels while RHP Harrison Cooney (2-2, 1.57) will pitch for the Bees.

The Kernels return home on Monday, May 19 to take on the Beloit Snappers, the Midwest League affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. It will be Dollar Monday. Regular hot dogs, small popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, chips, and Cracker Jacks are each just $1.00.

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