Rosa drove in five runs (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
PEORIA — What a difference a day made for the Peoria Chiefs. The Cubs’ Class-A Midwest League affiliate was able to put Wednesday’s 6-2 drubbing behind them and return to true form with a 5-0 shutout victory over the Lansing Lugnuts at O’Brien Field Thursday.
Chiefs (49-46) starter Justin Bristow (4-5) turned in his best performance of the season, tossing six strong shutout innings – the deepest he has gone in any game this season. Bristow found the command that has eluded him this season, striking out eight without allowing a walk.
“I was able to get ahead (Thursday) with my fastball, and my slider was really good, too. With two good pitches, getting ahead on batters makes pitching a little easier,” Bristow said. “I felt like I threw well. I pitched better (Thursday) and put guys away.”
Chiefs manager Marty Pevey was glad his team could bounce back after Wednesday's loss.
“We got clutch hitting, good starting pitching, and the relievers did well,” Pevey said. “(Manolin) De Leon threw the ball well and so did (Chris) Siegfried coming out of the 'pen. But the real story was Bristow giving us six strong innings.
“He was down in the zone with his four-seam fastball, used his two-seam for strikes, and his slider was really filthy (Thursday). It must have had the same down angles as his fastball and the hitters could not just lay off it.”
The offensive star for the Chiefs was Jovan Rosa, who drove in all five runs. He finished the game 2-for-3, raising his batting average to .314 in 14 games since joining the team from Class High-A Daytona.
Rosa did most of his damage in the fourth inning when he hit a two-out, three-run home run to give Peoria a 4-0 lead off Lansing starter Joel Carreno.
It was Rosa’s first homerun in Peoria this season – a bomb to dead centerfield over the 400-foot wall and onto the concrete concourse where inflatable youth games are placed.
“He almost killed three kids out there in playland,” Pevey joked. “He swung the bat well. It was good to see.”
Kyler Burke had three hits for Peoria and Rebel Ridling added two.