The Peninsula Oilers defeated the Mat-Su Miners 7-3 on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai to take a two-game lead in the Alaska Baseball League.
The Oilers, winners of five straight, move to 12-6 in the league, while the Miners fall to 12-10. The Miners and Anchorage Bucs (10-8) are tied for second in the league.
Peninsula will look for a sweep of the Miners in the four-game series tonight at 7 p.m. at Seymour Park.
In a game that started 15 minutes late due to showers, the Oilers got a huge game from the top three hitters in their lineup.
Mike Miller, who was leading the league with a .381 average as of Sunday, finished 3 for 4 with two runs. Miller also was tied with two other players for the league lead in runs.
Chris Mallory, who was eighth in the league with a .286 average as of Sunday, went 2 for 5 with a run.
Miller and Mallory were each tied for the league lead in doubles, and each doubled Tuesday.
Patrick Wisdom also had a big game, going 1 for 4 with a run and four RBIs.
The Miners got on the board first by striking in the top of the first inning. Ryan Ford started the game with a single, then Cam Kneeland doubled to move Ford to third.
Stephen Branca then grounded out to winning pitcher Ben Griset to score Ford. Griset escaped further damage by striking out Wesley Jones and getting Kevin Lum to pop out.
The Oilers came right back in the bottom of the first. Miller ripped the second pitch from loser Jeff Gonzales off the left-field wall for a double. Mallory then singled to move Miller to third. Wisdom scored Miller with a sacrifice fly before Troy Channing grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Oilers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the second. Tanner Rust started the inning with a walk and stole second. After Manny Acosta struck out, Ryan McChesney doubled to score Rust. Zach Kirksey struck out and Nate Ring grounded out to end the inning.
The Oilers took control of the game in the bottom of the third by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring five runs to take a 7-1 lead.
Miller started the inning with a walk, then Mallory doubled to put Miller on third. Wisdom then cracked a three-run home run to left.
After Channing struck out, the Oilers loaded the bases when Rust singled, Acosta doubled and McChesney walked to chase Gonzales in favor of Brock Simon.
Kirksey greeted Simon with a single that scored Rust. Ring then walked to score Acosta before Miller and Mallory were retired on fly-outs to end the huge inning.
The Miners made it 7-2 with a run in the top of the seventh. Michael Gerlach started the inning with a single and eventually scored on a ground-out by Tim Zier.
Mat-Su continued to try and creep back into the game in the top of the eighth inning, loading the bases with two outs against Oilers reliever James Mannara.
Cameron McVey then relieved Mannara and walked Adam Martin to force home Kneeland.
Nick Rosso came to the plate representing the tying run, but McVey struck him out.
In addition to having the top batting average in the league in Sunday's stats at .237, the Oilers also lead the league with a 1.35 ERA. Peninsula has the top four pitchers in the league - Jordan Mills with a 0.00 ERA, John Maciel with a 0.47 ERA, J.D. Salles with a 0.48 ERA and Brandon Kizer with a 0.55 ERA.
Gabriel Asakura, who gets the start tonight, is tied for sixth in the league with a 0.93 ERA.
Monday - Oilers 7, Miners 3
Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Ford ss 5 1 2 0 Millr ss 4 2 3 0
Knlnd 1b 5 1 3 0 Mllry 2b 5 1 2 0
Brnca 3b 4 0 0 1 Wisdm 3b 4 1 1 4
Jones cf 4 0 1 0 Chnng 1b 4 0 0 0
Lum dh 4 0 1 0 Rust rf 1 2 1 0
Grlch rf 4 1 2 0 Andrsn ph 1 0 0 0
Mrtn c 2 0 1 1 Acosta lf 4 1 1 0
Suitr lf 3 0 0 0 MChsny c 3 0 1 1
Rosso lf 1 0 0 0 Krksy dh 4 0 1 1
Zier 2b 4 0 0 1 Ring cf 3 0 0 1
Totals 36 3 10 3 Totals 33 7 10 7
Mat-Su 100 000 110 -3
Peninsula 115 000 00X -7
2B - Kneeland, Miller, Mallory, Acosta, McChesney. HR - Wisdom. SF - Wisdom. SB - Rust.
IP H R ER BB SO
Gonzales, L 2 1-3 7 7 7 3 3
Simon 3 2-3 2 0 0 3 0
Dennison 2 1 0 0 0 3
Griset, W 5 5 1 1 1 6
Mannara 2 2-3 5 2 2 0 2
McVey 1 1-3 0 0 0 1 3
WP - Griset. T - 2:35.