MCCULLERS HELPS BANDITS KEEP EDGE TO DOWN BEES Print
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 07:38

Quad Cities wins consecutive games for first time in more than two weeks

BURLINGTON, Iowa (JULY 24, 2013) – Quad Cities River Bandits right-hander Lance McCullers struck out six batters in five innings to earn his first win since June 23, and center fielder Teoscar Hernandez hit his team-leading eighth home run to help the visitors to an 8-5 victory over the Burlington Bees at Community Field Wednesday night.

Seven players combined for nine hits to help Quad Cities (17-13 second half, 55-44 overall) win back-to-back games for the first time since July 6-7 in Kane County and score at least seven runs in consecutive games for the first time since July 2-3 at home against Clinton.

In the opener of a three-game series, Burlington (12-19, 38-58) took the lead in the first inning against McCullers (5-5). Bees third baseman Sherman Johnson drew a leadoff walk, and first baseman Wade Hinkle hit his 10th home run to give his team a 2-0 lead. McCullers has allowed a home run in each of his last three starts, while Quad Cities' opponents have homered in seven straight games.

The River Bandits answered quickly against right-hander Pat Lowery (3-6) in the second inning. Designated hitter Bobby Borchering and first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki drew consecutive walks and advanced one base each on a wild pitch – the first of five thrown by Bees pitchers in the game. Third baseman Rio Ruiz then drove both runs home with his first triple of the season to right-center field. Another wild pitch brought in Ruiz for the go-ahead run. Catcher Roberto Pena then singled, and right fielder Dan Gulbransen grounded into a fielder's choice. Two batters later, Hernandez hammered a Lowery offering over the left-field fence for a 5-2 Quad Cities lead. The five-run frame was the River Bandits' largest since a five-run ninth inning against Cedar Rapids on June 13.

McCullers held the lead by tossing four straight scoreless innings to finish his outing. He gave up a walk in the second inning but erased it on a double play. The Bees loaded the bases in the third inning on a hit batter and two walks, but McCullers got a strikeout that started a string of seven consecutive outs through the end of the fifth inning. His six strikeouts gave him 101 this season, making he and teammate Vincent Velasquez (102) the only Midwest League pitchers with 100 this season.

The teams traded pairs of runs in the seventh inning. Pena doubled and scored on a single by Gulbransen. Second baseman Austin Elkins later doubled on scored on a play that included a wild pitch and a throwing error by Bees catcher Zach Wright. In the bottom of the inning, right-hander Juri Perez gave up a single and three walks that led to two runs. Right-hander Gera Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings for the Quad Cities bullpen. The River Bandits scored a run with the help of two ninth-inning errors, while the Bees had three hits for a ninth-inning run against right-hander Jordan Jankowski.

Wednesday's victory also means The Captain's Table at 4801 River Drive in Moline will offer The Captain's Table Victory Discount on Thursday, July 25. Anyone who mentions the River Bandits victory can receive a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two lunches or dinners with beverages on Thursday, July 25. The River Bandits and Bees continue their series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Quad Cities right-hander Mark Appel (0-0) will make his third Midwest League start against Burlington left-hander Tyler DeLoach (4-2).

UP NEXT: Modern Woodmen Park is a nominee for the “Best Minor League Ballpark” in the 2013 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, and fans can vote once per day at 10Best.com until the winner is announced Aug. 14. The River Bandits return to Modern Woodmen Park Tuesday, July 30. 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 www.riverbandits.com. 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.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is planned for next spring, along with a carousel and other new games and attractions. This season, the team just unveiled a new 300-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, a Mediacom Frog Hopper, and a number of new bounce houses . The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans can see the first team in Minor League Baseball history with back-to-back No. 1 overall draft picks – 2012 top pick Carlos Correa and 2013 top pick Mark Appel, as well as 2012 first-round draft choice Lance McCullers. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, the second half of this season is one every fan will not want to miss!