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|RUIZ'S EARLY SLAM, MINAYA'S 9 K'S CARRY BANDITS|
|News Releases - Sports & Recreation|
|Written by Marco LaNave|
|Friday, 30 August 2013 12:20|
With eighth win in last 10 games, Quad Cities seals first-round playoff matchup with Cedar Rapids
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AUG. 27, 2013) – Quad Cities River Bandits third baseman Rio Ruiz hit his first career grand slam in the first inning and had a career-high five RBIs, and right-hander Juan Minaya struck out nine Burlington Bees in four shutout relief innings for a 6-5 victory at Community Field Tuesday night.
Two days after clinching a playoff spot, Quad Cities (38-25 second half, 76-56 overall) determined its first-round opponent with a win Tuesday. The River Bandits will face the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a best-of-three Midwest League Western Division semifinal beginning Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. at Modern Woodmen Park. Games 2 and 3 – if necessary – will be in Cedar Rapids Sept. 5 and Sept. 6.
Quad Cities started quickly against Bees left-hander Brandon Love (4-7), who hit second baseman Tony Kemp with the game's second pitch before walking shortstop Austin Elkins. Center fielder Teoscar Hernandez then beat out a bunt to the first-base side to extend his season-high nine-game hitting streak. Love struck out first baseman Bobby Borchering before Ruiz blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left-center field for his first career grand slam and 12th home run of the season. Ruiz finished a triple shy of the cycle.
River Bandits right-hander Daniel Minor started with a 4-0 lead but allowed hits to the first three Bees batters, including an RBI single by shortstop Angel Rosa, who had seven hits in the four-game series. But Minor induced the first of a River Bandits season-high four double plays to hold Burlington to two runs in the first inning. He also got help from a double play in the second and third innings.
Quad Cities briefly extended the lead in the third inning, as Hernandez hit a leadoff double and scored on Ruiz's RBI single for a 5-2 lead. But Rosa hit an RBI double to keep the Bees within 5-3. Quad Cities answered in the fourth, as catcher Jobduan Morales led off with his first triple – and the River Bandits' first triple – in more than a year and scored on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Jordan Scott – who was the first in a stretch of 18 of 19 batters retired by Bees pitchers. Love lasted six innings, allowing all six runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. He combined with right-handers Austin Adams and Jake Boyd to retired the final 13 River Bandits.
After Minor gave up a home run to catcher Zach Wright to make it 6-4 in the fourth, Minaya started the fifth inning and struck out the side in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings. First baseman Wade Hinkle's eighth-inning solo home run was the last run of the game, pulling the Bees (26-38, 52-77) within 6-5. Right-hander Andrew Walter pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first Midwest League save.
Tuesday's victory also means The Captain's Table at 4801 River Drive in Moline will offer The Captain's Table Victory Discount Wednesday, Aug. 28. 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 Wednesday, Aug. 28.
UP NEXT: The River Bandits' final homestand of the regular season kicks off Saturday, Aug. 31, with a Dallas Clark Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Barrel House 211 and CBS4 when gates open at 5:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game. Fireworks will also follow the game. 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!
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