Fresh off of their fourth series win of the season, the Quad Cities River Bandits extended their winning streak on Tuesday as they defeated the Peoria Chiefs 6-3 in the series opener at Dozer Park.
With both Quad Cities and Peoria worked around two-out base runners in the first, the Chiefs made Anthony Veneziano pay for a leadoff hit by pitch in the second and plated the opening salvo on Leamdro Cedeno’s RBI triple to take a 1-0 lead.
The River Bandits were kept quiet by Peoria’s Michael YaSenka, who had help from his defense on all ten of Bandits’ out,s until the visitors broke through via Michael Massey, who scorched a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall for a three-run blast and a 3-1 advantage for Quad Cities.
With his pitch-count at 68 through three innings, Veneziano departed the game early for Yohanse Morel who set down the Chiefs in order in the bottom of the fourth before the offense strung three base runners including an RBI single from Nick Loftin that moved Tucker Bradley to third for Eric Cole’s sac-fly.
Ahead 5-1 in the fifth, Morel again faced the minimum in the frame, but then was on the hill for a William Hancock throwing error that scored Pedro Pages on a steal of third and an RBI single by Moises Castillo that cut the Bandits’ lead to 5-3.
Fabian Blanco replaced YaSenka for the start of the seventh and paired with Garrett Davila to work a scoreless seventh before Tucker Bradley put a ball in play towards second where Francisco Hernandez’s error scored Vinnie Pasquantino and a River Bandits’ insurance run.
Despite a one-out walk and a man reaching on a Jimmy Govern error, Davila pitched a scoreless eighth and then a scoreless ninth on three ground balls to seal the 6-3 win.
Thanks to his 3.1 innings of clean relief, Davila (1-0) earned his first win of the season for the Bandits, while YaSenca (0-2), despite working six innings, allowed five earned on five hits and two walks and took the loss for the Chiefs.
Quad Cities will look to make it five consecutive wins on Wednesday behind A.J. Block (0-1, 8.31) who will make his first start of the year and oppose Peoria’s Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (1-1, 7.11) at 6:35 p.m. at Dozer Park.