WMBD/WYZZ-TV STAFF - PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs blew out the Clinton LumberKings 10-5 Sunday afternoon to finish the first half above .500 with a 35-34 record. The suspended game from Saturday night was cancelled by the Midwest League before its scheduled noon start. Peoria heads into the MWL All-Star break with a 12-3 record in June and a nine-game home winning streak.
After Michael Jensen retired the LumberKings on just six pitches in the top of the first inning, the Chiefs came out swinging against Brett Shankin. Pin-Chieh Chen singled with one out and stole second, advancing to third on an errant throw by catcher Michael Dowd. Dustin Geiger singled through a drawn-in infield to easily score Chen for a 1-0 Chiefs lead. Paul Hoilman crushed the next offering from Shankin over the left-field wall and concourse for his team-leading sixth homer of the season. The two-run shot put the Chiefs on top 3-0 in the first inning.
Chen led off the third inning with his second hit of the day and he again stole second base. Chen moved to third on a groundout and with two down Darvill drew a walk. Javier Baez ripped a first-pitch single to left to score Chen and put the Chiefs on top 4-0 before Shankin got out of the inning.
Peoria knocked Shankin from the game in the fourth inning with another multi-run frame. Sergio Burruel led off with his third double of the week and he moved to third on a single from Oliver Zapata. Zeke DeVoss made it 5-0 with a single to left for his 19th RBI of the year. After a pair of outs, Hoilman doubled to center to score two runs and end the afternoon for Shankin as the Chiefs took a 7-0 lead.
The offense kept producing against reliever John Taylor in the fifth. Baez was hit by a pitch to start the inning and a Taylor throwing error put two on base with no outs. Burruel loaded the bases with a single to left and Zapata made it 9-0 with a double off the right-field wall. With one down Chen put the Chiefs up by double digits with a sac fly to center before Taylor escaped the inning.
Clinton put two on the board against Michael Jensen in the sixth inning. With one out Ji-Man Choi singled to center and Ramon Morla singled to right. After a wild pitch, Choi scored on a grounder by Michael Down and Pat Brady doubled home Morla to cut the Chiefs lead to 10-2. Clinton added a run against reliever Larry Suarez in the seventh inning when Jamal Austin scored on a bases loaded fielders' choice.
Jensen (7-3) allowed two runs on six hits over six innings of work. Jensen struck out three and hit two batters while not issuing a walk. Suarez allowed one run on three hits with one strikeout in one inning of work. Austin Reed threw a perfect inning with a strikeout. Hunter Cervenka allowed two unearned runs on two hits and a strikeout in the ninth inning.