After spending their last two weeks on the road, the Quad Cities River Bandits returned to home Modern Woodmen Park and defeated the Peoria Chiefs 7-3 on Tuesday in game one of the six-game set. Peoria’s bats got off to a hot start against Bandits’ starter, A.J. Block who gave up four-straight hits to start the night, including a two-run double by Pedro Pages that got the Chiefs out to a 2-0 lead in the first.
Through the first third of the game, Michael YaSenka has his way with the Quad Cities offense as the Chiefs’ righty faced one over the minimum through the third, but ran into the red-hot bat of Michael Massey who, after a leadoff single by Maikel Garcia, blasted his 15th homer of the season that tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth.
With Block settling in and working a one-two-three fifth, the tail end of retiring nine-consecutive batters, the River Bandits took a 3-2 lead on a two-out RBI single by Garcia that plated Hancock for a 3-2 Q.C. advantage.
Block worked into the sixth for the Bandits, but before striking out Chandler Redmond to end his night, the lefty surrendered a game-tying blast in a full count to Leandro Cedeno for the final blemish on his three-run line that featured 5.1 innings and seven strikeouts.
After finishing the rest of the top of the sixth, Mitch Ellis stranded a leadoff double with a groundball and a pair of strikeouts to keep the Chiefs off of the board in the seventh and set up for the Bandits to retake the lead on an RBI single from Massey against Mac Lardner and then add an insurance run on Cory Thompson’s wild pitch that scored Garcia.
Nathan Webb’s Quad Cities debut got started with a one-two-three scoreless eighth and ended with a save and a scoreless ninth after his offense tacked on a pair via a Seuly Matias solo blast and a run-scoring double by Nick Loftin that put the final at 7-3.
Ellis (4-1) picked up his fourth win of the year for the River Bandits thanks to 1.2 scoreless innings and three strikeouts, while Lardner (0-3) took the loss for the Chiefs and gave up two earned on three hits and a walk and failed to work a full frame.
Now winners of five of their last six, Quad Cities will host Peoria for game two of the series tomorrow at Modern Woodmen Park, where Asa Lacy (2-5, 4.74) will meet Logan Gragg (1-3, 6.20) for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.