A promising start proved to be a mirage Thursday night for the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Wisconsin scored the final 10 runs of the game to claim a 10-2 Midwest League victory over Quad Cities at Modern Woodmen Park, the fifth straight loss for the River Bandits.
The Timber Rattlers broke open a 3-2 game by scoring three runs in the seventh inning and adding four more in the eighth.
“It was a rough finish," Quad Cities manager Brooks Conrad said. "They beat up on us from the third inning on. I felt like Charlie (Neuweiler) gave us a pretty promising start. We just couldn’t sustain it and they went to work with the bats."
But it was a pair of inning-opening walks in the seventh that positioned Wisconsin to secure its sixth consecutive win.
Carlos Rodriguez and Micah Bello reached on the only two walks allowed by River Bandits reliever Caden Monke.
Alex Hall drilled a first-pitch double down the line in left to score Rodriguez, extending a lead which grew when Bello scored on a wild pitch and when Hall came home on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Black.
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Wisconsin added four more runs to its lead in the eighth, including three when Black cleared loaded bases with the Timber Rattlers’ third triple of the game.
Tristan Peters hit the other two, the first cutting into a 2-0 River Bandits lead in the fourth inning.
"They’re a good hitting team. They’ve shown us that all season," Conrad said after Quad Cities lost for the eighth time in nine games against the Brewers affiliate early this season.
"The extra base hits, the timely hits, they seemed to get them when they needed them."
The River Bandits finished with nine hits, including two each by Peyton Wilson, Diego Hernandez and Emshoff, but Timber Rattlers relievers Robbie Baker and Brady Schanuel, a former Iowa pitcher, surrendered just three hits over the final four innings.
"I thought we did a decent job at the plate, but we couldn’t bunch many hits together," Conrad said.
A pair of solo home runs lifted Quad Cities to a 2-0 lead through three innings that didn’t last.
The River Bandits’ Burle Dixon opened the bottom of the second inning by drilling a shot to right, a path Dillan Shrum followed when the homered with two outs in the bottom of the third.
Shrum wasn’t in the starting lineup for Quad Cities, entering after Herard Gonzalez suffered a leg injury as fell while running between second and third following a Kale Emshoff single in the first inning.
"Just one of those things. He’s doing the right thing, first to third, and just goes down," Conrad said. "I don’t think it’s anything major. It was a tough situation."
Wisconsin wiped away the River Bandits’ early lead in the top of the fourth on just one hit.
Zavier Warren opened the inning by reaching on the only walk allowed Quad Cities starting pitcher Charlie Neuweiler during a four-inning start.
Neuweiler allowed just two hits and struck out five batters but exited with the River Bandits trailing 3-2.
Peters scored Warren, drilling a triple into the gap in left center. Wes Clarke followed with a sacrifice fly that tied the game.
The Timber Rattlers pushed ahead in the top of the fifth when Alex Hall scored on a throwing error by Cam Williams at third that followed an infield single by Black.
Hall had reached on an infield single and advanced when Ethan Murray singled to left.