Despite scoring three unanswered to end the game, the Quad Cities River Bandits couldn’t complete the climb out of an early four-run hole as they fell to the Peoria Chiefs on Thursday by a score of 4-3 at Dozer Park.
Starters Anthony Veneziano and Michael YaSenka scattered base runners in the first scoreless innings, but it was Peoria who broke through first with back-to-back home runs from Francisco Hernandez and Pedro Pages who both took Veneziano deep for their first homers of the season and a 2-0 lead.
With YaSenka setting down six-straight through the third and fourth, the Chiefs took advantage of three consecutive walks to open up their half of the fourth and forced Chris Widger to replace his starter with the bases loaded and no one out.
After issuing a bases loaded walk Matt Chamberlain to begin his night, Dante Biasi traded a run for an out on a Jhon Torres RBI-groundout that pushed the home squad up to a 4-0 lead before Biasi would limit the damage and retire Hernandez and Pages on a strikeout and groundout.
Quad Cities got on the board for the first time in the top of the fifth thanks to a Pages throwing error that plated Eric Cole who had reached on a single to leadoff the inning. But after a wild pitch and a walk moved Gentry to third and Jimmy Govern to first, Emmanuel Solano got Nick Loftin to flyout and end any further threat.
Biasi struck out the side in order in the bottom of the fifth and set the stage for Q.C. to cut deeper into the deficit as Nathan Eaton launched his first homer of the season to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 4-2.
The River Bandits would then strike for the third-straight inning when Loftin redeemed himself with a run-scoring single to plate William Hancock and push the game to 4-3.
Having entered in the seventh inning, Wilfredo Pereira settled in for Peoria and quickly shutdown the Bandits in the eighth, while newly entered Yohanse Morel allowed a leadoff walk, but induced a couple of groundballs including a 4-6-3 double play to safely end the bottom half.
Down to their final three outs, the Bandits faced Freddy Pacheco in the top of the ninth and forced the right-hander to throw 17 pitches, but were ultimately retired one-two-three to end the game.
Solano (1-0) earned his first win of the season in relief of YaSenka, who worked a 4.2 innings in a one-run start, while Veneziano (0-2) took his second loss of the season after allowing four earned in his three innings of work.
The save, his first of the year, went to Pacheco (1) who worked his second-straight scoreless outing.
Quad Cities will send Grant Gambrell (1-0, 5.19) to the hill for game four of the series on Friday as he’ll toe the rubber against Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (0-0, 0.00) who will look to even the week at two wins apiece at 6:35 p.m. CDT.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The 2021 season marks the River Bandits’ first year as a new Advanced-A major league affiliate. As such, the team will be offering higher quality baseball than has ever before been played in the Quad Cities. Additionally, the Bandits will welcome a new MLB affiliate to the Quad Cities, the Kansas City Royals. The River Bandits anchor the Quad Cities sports market, which The Sports Business
Journal named the top minor league sports market in the country in 2015 and second-best minor league market in its 2017 follow-up ranking. In 2015, 2017 and again in 2019, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s award for “Best Charitable Works” in Minor League Baseball, the only club to win that coveted award three times. For more information, visit www.riverbandits.com or contact General Manager Joe Kubly at (563) 333-2768.