Geneva, IL – The Peoria Chiefs scored four runs in the seventh inning but couldn’t dig out of a big hole and lost 5-4 to the Kane County Cougars Monday night. The loss drops the Chiefs to 7-5 in the second half and 37-44 overall as they head home for a 4th of July tilt against Beloit at 5:30 Tuesday night.
After retiring all 12 batters he faced Tuesday in his pro debut, Chiefs lefty Evan Kruczynski fell behind in the first inning Monday night. He struck out Ben DeLuzio to start the bottom of the first before allowing an infield single to Raymel Flores. Marcus Wilson struck out looking before Mark Karaviotis singled to center to put two runners on. Ramon Hernandez, who homered in the ninth on Sunday, launched a 3-run homer into the left-field picnic tables for a 3-0 Cougars lead. The runs marked the first allowed as a pro by Kruczynski, the Cardinals 2017 ninth round draft pick out of East Carolina.
Kane County added on in the fourth as they knocked Kruczynski from the game. With two outs DeLuzio reached second on an automatic double that bounced over the left-field wall. With his pitch count pushing 60, Kruczynski gave way to Frederis Parra and the Cougars took a 4-0 lead on a double to right by Flores. Marcus Wilson made it 5-0 with a single to center before Parra got out of the game.
Cougars starter Curtis Taylor retired the first 15 Chiefs he faced with seven strikeouts. His bid at history ended in the sixth when Nick Plummer led off with a single to right. Plummer moved to second with one out as Jose Martinez grounded out, but he was left in scoring position when Mick Fennell grounded out.
The Chiefs threatened again in the seventh against Taylor. Dylan Carlson singled to center to start the inning and Brian O’Keefe followed with a line drive single to give the Chiefs two base runners in the same inning for the first time in the game. Ryan McCarvel drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases and Tyler Mark came in out of the Cougars bullpen to replace Taylor. Vince Jackson got the Chiefs on the board as he greeted Mark with a single to right to score Carlson. Juan Yepez cut the Chiefs deficit to 5-3 as he doubled down the third-base line to score O’Keefe and McCarvel. With one down, JR Davis delivered a sacrifice fly to deep left to score Jackson and trim the Cougars lead to 5-4. Mark escaped the inning with the Cougars still leading as Jose Martinez grounded out to second.
Kruczynski (0-1) took the loss for his first pro decision. He allowed four runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings while striking out three and hitting a batter. Parra allowed two runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings as he walked one and hit one. Max Almonte threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Yeison Medina allowed two hits and struck out one over one shutout inning.
Notes…The Chiefs are 13-13 in one-run games and 8-27 when allowing five runs or more…Jackson is 2-for-3 with the bases loaded this season…Yepez is 1-for-2 with the bases loaded…With two more Monday, the Chiefs have hit 69 batters this season, 19 more than any other MWL team and 12 more than the team hit all of last season…The Chiefs have allowed 72 home runs on the season…The paid attendance of 10,247 was the largest of the season for both teams…The teams don’t meet again until an August 25-28 in Peoria and the Chiefs come back to Geneva September 2-4…The Chiefs return home Tuesday to start at three-game series with the Beloit Snappers, who beat the Chiefs 3 of 4 last week at Dozer Park…Tuesday’s pitching matchup is a rematch of last Thursday’s game as Chiefs RHP Juan Perez (1-1, 2.70) faces Beloit RHP Xavier Altamirano (4-1, 2.04) at 5:30 p.m.…Tuesday is Salute to the USA presented by CIAN and A5.com…The Chiefs will wear military/USA themed jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit Honor Flight and Gold Star Families…Fans can watch the downtown Peoria fireworks from Dozer Park post-game…The broadcast can be heard, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 5:15 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.