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Written by Marco LaNave   
Monday, 10 June 2013 08:21

Rehabbing right-hander Jake Westbrook tosses seven innings to pull Chiefs within one-half game of Quad Cities

PEORIA, Ill. (JUNE 9, 2013) – Right-hander Jake Westbrook pitched seven innings of one-run ball for the Peoria Chiefs, who also got the first two Midwest League home runs by first baseman Jeremy Schaffer in a 9-1 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits Sunday night at Dozer Park.

Westbrook (1-0), the veteran on a rehab assignment for the St. Louis Cardinals, started by getting three groundouts on five pitches in the top of the first inning. The Chiefs then took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Shortstop Ildemaro Vargas reached first base when second baseman Brian Blasik bobbled a grounder, and second baseman Jacob Wilson and left fielder Jordan Walton followed with consecutive RBI doubles against right-hander Juan Minaya (0-1).

In his first Midwest League start, Minaya also allowed single runs in the third and fourth innings. Chiefs right fielder Breyvic Valera led off the third inning with a single, and after Wilson's second hit, Walton hit into a fielder's choice that brought home Valera. On Minaya's first pitch of the fourth inning, Schaffer launched a home run to the lawn beyond the left-center field fence for a 4-0 Peoria lead. It was the last of five hits against Minaya, who yielded three earned runs while striking out three batters in four innings.

Westbrook retired the first 14 batters and did not allow a ball to leave the infield until Blasik grounded a single through the hole between shortstop and third base with two outs in the fifth inning. River Bandits designated hitter Ariel Ovando followed with an opposite-field double over Walton in left field, scoring Blasik and extending Ovando's season-high hitting streak to seven games. But the Chiefs restored the lead to four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning against right-hander Jordan Jankowski. Wilson drew a two-out walk, Walton singled, and designated hitter Patrick Wisdom dropped a pop fly down the right field line to score Wilson and make it 5-1.

Westbrook allowed two more hits in the seventh inning, as first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki hit a leadoff single but was picked off at first base by Westbrook during the next batter. Quad Cities third baseman Rio Ruiz doubled to the right-field corner but was stranded at third base when Blasik grounded out to end the inning. Westbrook allowed four hits and no walks while striking out five batters. He got 14 groundouts and one foul popup to an infielder for the rest his outs.

Chiefs right-hander Thomas Lee allowed one hit and struck out three batters in two shutout innings, while the home team added four runs in the eighth inning against right-hander Richard Rodriguez, who allowed a home run by Schaffer and a two-run triple by Valera, who scored on a throwing error by Blasik to complete the four-run frame with a 9-1 Peoria lead.

Quad Cities is now three games behind second-place Beloit, which won both games of a doubleheader in Burlington Sunday. First-place Cedar Rapids is four games ahead of the River Bandits. After dropping a second straight game to seal its first road series loss in its last six, Quad Cities will try to avoid being swept on the road for the first time this season when they play at 7 p.m. Monday in Peoria. River Bandits right-hander Jamaine Cotton (1-2) is scheduled to face Chiefs and former River Bandits left-hander Hector Hernandez (2-2).

UP NEXT: Reservations can be made from now until June 10 for the River Bandits Father's Day Cookout and pre-game catch scheduled for Sunday, June 16. Check out for details or call 563-324-3000. Single-game tickets are on sale at the River Bandits box office at Modern Woodmen Park, by phone at 563-324-3000 and online at Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
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