Despite having Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney lead off and infielder Luis Valbuena bat second, the Kane County Cougars were shut out by the Peoria Chiefs 9-0 on Saturday before a season-high 12,335 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
Sweeney, working his way back from a fractured rib, went 1-for-4 with a single and a double play. Valbuena, who rehabbing from a strained oblique, went 1-for-3 with a single, a walk and a double play.
Cory Jones (8-2) blanked the Cougars (23-44, 53-80) over 6 innings, allowing 4 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Steve Sabatino earned his first save with 3 scoreless relief innings.
In the third, Nick Martini of the Chiefs (29-38, 68-67) drove in the first run when he tripled down the first-base line to drive home Gerwuins Velazco. Breyvic Velera followed with an RBI single off Cougars starter James Pugliese (0-2). With two outs, Trevor Martin belted a 3-run homer that gave the Chiefs a 5-0 advantage. The Chiefs tacked on another run against Stephen Perakslis in the fourth. In the ninth, Kenny Socorro allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 error.
The Cougars host the Chiefs today at 6:30 p.m. in the second-to-last game of the season. Left-hander Nathan Dorris (6-3) will start for the Cougars against right-hander Chris Perry (2-3).