Peoria, Ill. — Clinton overcame a three-run deficit early but couldn’t mount another comeback after Peoria regained the lead, suffering a 5-4 loss to the Chiefs in Midwest League baseball Friday night.
It was the second one-run loss in as many nights for the LumberKings, who dropped to 7-2 in the second half of the season.
Peoria got on the board in the third inning as Dylan Becker singled to left to lead off the inning. After starter Jeffeson Medina (0-4) got Craig Aikin to strike out swinging, Magneuris Sierra blasted a ball to deep right for his second home run of the season, giving the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.
Medina got into more trouble after the bomb. He hit Edmundo Sosa and allowed consecutive singles to Jose Godoy and Brian O’Keefe to load the bases. RJ Dennard then stepped in and drove a ball high and deep to right, but it stayed in the park, allowing Sosa to score on the sacrifice fly, making it 3-0.
The LumberKings came back immediately and tied it in the fourth.
After Chiefs starter Junior Fernandez (6-5) stuck out Luis Liberato to start the inning, Rayder Ascanio struck out, but a dropped third strike allowed him to reach first. It proved costly for the Chiefs, as Dalton Kelly reached on an error and Alex Jackson came through with a double over the head of right fielder Vaughn Bryan, scoring Ascanio and moving Kelly to third. That brought up Conner Hale, who drove a ball into left, scoring both Kelly and Jackson to tie the game at 3.
The tie didn’t last long, as Peoria got right back to work against Medina in bottom of the fourth.
With one out, Becker walked and Aikin poked a double down the left-field line, moving Becker to third. Sierra came through again, as his fly ball to right center was deep enough to score Becker, giving the Chiefs the 4-3 edge. Sosa then reached on an infield single, plating Aikin to make it 5-3.
The only other offense for the LumberKings came in the sixth when Hale blasted a solo home run to left against Fernandez, his sixth of the year, to make it 5-4. However, the LumberKings could do nothing against the Chiefs bullpen, with Steven De La Cruz pitching the ninth for his third save.
The LumberKings look to break their two-game losing streak today in a special 5 p.m. start against the Chiefs at Dozer Park. Ronald Dominguez (0-1, 2.25 ERA) makes the spot start for Clinton against Peoria’s Sandy Alcantara (5-5, 4.68).