COUGARS 9, BANDITS 3
DAVENPORT — The Quad Cities River Bandits left Modern Woodmen Park on Monday night with unfinished business.
Kane County reminded the Midwest League Western Division leaders of that, beating the River Bandits 9-3 in front of a crowd of 3,112.
In addition to ending Quad Cities’ four-game win streak, the Cougars also denied the River Bandits a chance to wrap up the first-half division championship on their home field.
Quad Cities did move closer to winning its second straight first-half title in the Western Division on Monday. Clinton’s 4-2 win at Burlington cut the River Bandits’ magic number to claim the division crown to one.
Already assured of a playoff berth after winning Sunday, Quad Cities (39-21) needs to win just one game or have Burlington lose once over the final six games of the half to earn the title.
“We looked a little like a team playing a day after a celebration,’’ River Bandits manager Ray Hernandez said. “If we don’t win one of the next six, we don’t deserve anything. We come back, get ready for the next one and keep working. Nothing has changed.’’
Quad Cities begins that work tonight, opening a three-game series at Beloit.
On Monday, a 28-minute half inning ended the River Bandits’ hopes of clinching anything.
Kane County sent 11 batters to the plate during a six-run fifth inning which more than erased the 2-1 lead Quad Cities had opened in the third on the first of two Ruben Castro sacrifice flies.
The Cougars’ Daniel Wasinger and Zac Almond drew inning-opening walks off of River Bandits starter Matt Ruppenthal and things only went downhill from there.
Following a sacrifice by KeShawn Lynch, Alek Thomas sliced a go-ahead two-run single through the vacated left side of the infield to put Kane County ahead to stay.
Zack Shannon followed with an RBI single off of reliever Devin Conn before a hit batter and the third of the four walks the Cougars collected in the inning loaded the bases.
Eddie Hernandez cleared them, sending a triple into the right field corner to give Kane County at 7-2 lead Quad Cities couldn’t catch.
“We tried to let Ruppenthal work through it and they got the big hit. Then they came up with another one off of Conn. It was a long inning,’’ Hernandez said. “We didn’t come up with the outs we needed.’’
The River Bandits finished with eight hits in the game, including doubles by Ross Adolph, Orlando Marquez and Wilyer Abreu. For both Marquez and Abreu, the hits were the first since joining Quad Cities on May 31 from extended spring training.
Castro drove home the River Bandits’ final two runs, scoring Adolph in the third after the first of his two hits and Abreu in the fifth.
Quad Cities’ other run scored in the first when Michael Wielansky started a 2-for-5 game with an infield single and reached home on a Freudis Nova single.
Deason honored: The River Bandits’ Cody Deason was named Monday as the Midwest League pitcher of the week.
In his only outing of the week, the only hit Deason allowed in seven shutout innings of work Thursday in a start at Peoria was a game-opening bunt single by Brendan Donovan. He struck out three batters and walked one to become the third River Bandits pitcher this season to earn league honors, following Shawn Dubin and Luis Garcia.
On deck: Quad Cities at Beloit, 6:30 p.m., today.