For the first time in three weeks, the Quad Cities River Bandits are not in first place in the Midwest League's Western Division.
For two weeks now, the River Bandits have not won a series, their last coming in a three-game sweep against Clinton on April 16-18.
Bandits manager Luis Aguayo just hopes the bad news doesn't get worse, given the circumstances of the team's doubleheader losses to the South Bend Silver Hawks, 6-2 and 8-0, on Tuesday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
"Back in my playing days, when I was with the Phillies, when something like that happened, we went on to lose 12 out of the next 13. Something like that can kill your momentum," Aguayo said.
He was referring to a hard-to-swallow seventh inning of the first game, with the Bandits just three outs away from clinching their first series in four tries and guaranteeing a first-place standing by night's end.
Instead, the Silver Hawks, second in the Eastern Division, put up five runs on QC reliever Heath Wyatt, who hadn't given up an earned run in 12 innings over 10 appearances until then.
South Bend made it a total of nine runs in two consecutive innings with four in the first of the second game and the Silver Hawks were well on their way to a sweep.
"When you get your pitches up in the zone, that's what's going to happen to you," Aguayo said, not only of Wyatt but also Game 2 starter Hector Hernandez.
Like Wyatt, Hernandez came in with stellar numbers, including a 2.01 ERA. However, he was hit for six singles as South Bend batted around in the first.
Three of the five runs against Wyatt were unearned. However, the big blow was a no-out home run by Fidel Pena that put South Bend up 3-2.
Spoiled was yet another very strong outing by lofty Cardinals pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins went 5 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits and an unearned run. He struck out seven and walked four.
"We're hoping he keeps improving. He's capable," the QC manager said of Jenkins, who has given up only two earned runs in his last 15 2/3 innings, with 13 strikeouts.
It's the defense, though, that had Aguayo shaking his head post-twinbill.
"If our defense doesn't work, we're in trouble," said Aguayo. "We need to make the routine plays. If we give up four, five, six outs an inning, it won't be fun."
Still, you can't win if you don't score, and South Bend's Taylor Siemens (1-0) was too much for QC. He allowed just one hit in five innings in the nightcap.
"He had a funky move, a deceptive move," Aguayo said of Siemens. "Our guys said they couldn't read him."
- Extra bases: Four times in six innings, South Bend got the leadoff hitter on against Jenkins. The next two batters each time went double play/flyout, two groundouts to first base, and two strikeouts twice. ... Third baseman Tyler Rahmatulla returned to the Bandits. Batting seventh, he went 1-for-1 with two walks in the opener, but was 0-for-3 in the nightcap. "He was seeing the ball well before he got hurt," Aguayo said. ... The Bandits' only hits in the second game were by Roberto DeLaCruz, breaking up Siemens' no-hitter with a double in the fourth, and a triple by Anthony Garcia off of reliever D.J. Johnson in the seventh.
Today is Friday, May 24, the 144th day of 2013. There are 221 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A military escort will be at the square at 9 a.m. tomorrow forthe funeral of Lieut. Joseph Eaton. The county judge is absent in Chicago, which willaccount for his not being in the procession. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island's City Council last night appropriated $95,000 forexpenses for the 1888 and 1889 fiscal year. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. F.W. Reimers last night was re-elected president of the RockIsland Musical Club at a meeting in the New Harper Hotel. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Seven members of Boy Scout Troop 21 got their Eagle badges lastnight. They were Ralph Hurt, Robert Nelson, Howard Schersten, Cecil Nelson, RobertFryxell, Clarence Stone and Rollin Hurt. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Mayor Morris Muhleman has resorted to a form letter in an effort toanswer objections to the wheel tax increase. "It was my hope that I could, in some way,restore the faith of the citizens in our city. In order to do this I knew I must face the factthat I would become very unpopular."All they are trying to do is protect the citizensproperty and build their town. 1988 -- 25 years ago: RICCA, the Rock Island County Council on Addictions, inconjunction with the Quad City Downs, will hold its annual "Night at the Races" June 2.The benefit "Night at the Races" will raise funds locally to assist in maintaining the twohalfway houses, New Hope Lodge (for women) and Beacon House (for men).