Nick Martini, the No. 2 hitter in the Quad Cities River Bandits' lineup, described Cedar Rapids starter Austin Wood as "effectively wild."|
The same could have been said about Martini's teammate, starting pitcher Tyrell Jenkins.
In a Mother's Day special at Modern Woodmen Park on Sunday, Wood was just a little bit more effective and Jenkins was just a little bit more wild in a 2-1 Kernels victory before a crowd of 3,097.
Wood struck out seven and walked seven, giving up just one hit and one run.
Jenkins struck out six and walked four, giving up three hits.
The key, though, was the ineffective wildness. Jenkins was saddled with four wild pitches, two of those in the first inning that led to the demise of his yield of two runs.
"Jenkins had trouble early, but he battled back and that's good for him," said QC manager Luis Aguayo.
Kernels leadoff hitter Kevin Moesquit led off the game with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. No. 3 hitter Kaleb Cowart also walked. Back-to-back wild pitches then brought in one run and the other followed on a Andy Workman's base hit.
Cedar Rapids managed just seven base runners after that, with reliever Robert Stock pitching the last three innings with one hit, no walks and five strikeouts.
"That," Aguayo said of Stock, "was his best outing of the season."
Yet, the Bandits couldn't hit the Kernel pitching enough to generate a victory.
"There were definitely some missed opportunities," said Martini, who had one of the Bandits two hits. "But you've got to give credit to Wood, he was effectively wild. But when you throw the ball 94, 95 miles per hour, you can get away with some of those things."
Four walks – three by Wood and one by winning pitcher Aaron Meade – accounted for QC's only run.
The Bandits have two late-inning chances. In the eighth, Colin Walsh led off with a double, however the three batters that followed couldn't figure out reliever Stephen Tromblee. Tromblee then walked Garrett Wittels and hit Roberto Reyes to start the bottom of the ninth, but the surge stalled from there.
Matt Williams moved both up a base with a bunt, and Martini lined one to the shortstop with the infield in. With closer Ty Kelley in, Anthony Garcia grounded out to third to end the game.
"Tyrell kept us in the game, and Stock is getting better every time out," Martini said of the Bandits' pitching. "You can't ask for much more than what they gave us."
Aguayo said the game came down to the Kernels pitching "making the right pitches at the right time to get out of jams.
"Their middle infielders (Moesquit at second base and Wendell Soto at shortstop) are good defenders, among the best in the league. They played well," he said of the Kernels, "better than us."
The Bandits will try to gain a split in the four-game series tonight, game time at 7. The Bandits will give the ball to Todd McInnis (2-0, 2.54 ERA), who will be activated from the disabled list. To make room, QC will send Jonathan Cornelius (0-1, 9.00 ERA) back to Florida for short-season "A" ball.
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