PEORIA -- Albert Almora, the Cubs' 2012 first-round draft choice, made his debut for the Kane County Cougars and collected 3 hits in a 9-2 loss to the Peoria Chiefs on Wednesday night at Dozer Park.
After singling in his first at-bat, Almora put the Cougars (20-23) on the board in the top of the third when he bounced a double down the third-base line to drive home Gioskar Amaya. Dan Vogelbach followed by doubling to right-center, scoring Almora.
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Cougars starter Michael Heesch (2-4) was tagged for 5 runs in the first 2 innings. Ildemaro Vargas and Jacob Wilson reached with one out in the first on consecutive singles. Two batters later, Patrick Wisdom walked to load the bases. Michael Swinson walloped the first pitch over Bijan Rademacher's head in right to give the Chiefs (22-21) a 3-0 cushion.
The Chiefs tacked on a pair in the second. Casey Rasmus singled and Nick Martini reached on an error. They both scored after a hit from Vargas. Heesch settled down and gave up 1 more hit as he worked 6.
The Chiefs' Kurt Heyer (3-2) pitched 7 innings despite allowing 10 hits.
The Chiefs added a pair of runs in each of the last two innings. Eddie Orozco surrendered 2 in the seventh, while Brian Smith allowed 2 in the eighth.
The Cougars and Chiefs play Game 2 of their three-game series in Peoria today starting at 6:30 p.m. Right-hander Dillon Maples (0-0) starts for the Cougars against righty Silfredo Garcia (1-0).