CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (September 6, 2021) — Despite outhitting the Cedar Rapids Kernels by five, the Quad Cities River Bandits dropped their third game of the week by a final score of 8-7 at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Entering the contest having not allowed a run in his last 10 innings, Anthony Veneziano gave the Bandits two scoreless innings to begin the night before his offense put up the first tally of the top of the third on a Tucker Bradley bunt attempt that popped over the Kernels’ starter, Aaron Rozek, and allowed Rubendy Jaquez to score from third.
In the bottom of the fourth, Veneziano got charged with an unearned run as Aaron Sabato reached on an error by Nick Loftin and then with two outs, scored on an RBI single by Alex Isola to tie the game at 1-1.
After Quad Cities failed to convert on Will Hancock’s lead-off single in the top of the fifth, Chris Widger turned to his bullpen and brought in Anderson Paulino for his River Bandits’ début in the bottom-half. The righty needed just three pitches to record the first two outs of the frame, but after allowing a Gabriel Maciel single and an Edouard Julien four-pitch walk, the Kernels struck for another unearned run as Michel Helman reached on Loftin’s second error of the game and Maciel scored.
The next batter, Sabato, gave his team a 4-1 lead with an RBI single to right.
Quad Cities, however, also came to life against the bullpen as Carlos Suniaga entered for Cedar Rapids to begin the top of the sixth. Loftin started the frame with a walk and then got to third on Eric Cole’s double, and after a mound visit, Logan Porter stepped to the plate and tied the game at 4-4 with his thirteenth home-run of the season, which opened the four-bagger floodgates.
Alex Isola didn’t let the game remain tied for long and clubbed a solo-jack off of Paulino to start the bottom of the sixth, but in the seventh, the River Bandits got a lead-off homer of their own as Maikel Garcia retied it at 5-5 with his second homer of the season.
Four batters later, and as the first man to face Tyler Palm, Cole picked up his second hit of the game with a go-ahead RBI single to plate Nathan Eaton, making the score 6-5, Bandits.
Paulino struck out Maciel to start the bottom of the inning, but then walked Julien again before hitting Helman with a pitch to put the go-ahead run on base. The righty then struck out Sabato and then gave way to Will Klein, who surrendered the lead and a three-run bomb to the first man he faced, Yunior Severino.
Now trailing 8-6, the Bandits got their second lead-off homer of the game and their third in as many innings as Jake Means cranked a solo shot down the left-field line to bring the visitors to within one, but after Palm stranded another Hancock single, Melvi Acosta picked up his eighth save of the season by getting Cole on a comebacker to end the game.
Having pitched 1.1 innings including a scoreless ninth, Palm (2-4) earned the win for Cedar Rapids, as Rozek didn’t factor in despite giving up just one run in five innings. Paulino (0-1) took the loss for Quad Cities by allowing six runs, three earned, over 2.2 innings of relief. Veneziano didn't allow an earned run for the fourteenth consecutive inning and punched out five in his team-leading twenty-first start.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The 2021 season marks the River Bandits’ first year as a new Advanced-A Major League affiliate. As such, the team will be offering higher quality baseball than has ever before been played in the Quad Cities. Additionally, the Bandits will welcome a new MLB affiliate to the Quad Cities, the Kansas City Royals. The River Bandits anchor the Quad Cities’ sports-market, which The Sports Business Journal named the top minor-league sports-market in the country in 2015 and second-best minor-league market in its 2017 follow-up ranking. In 2015, 2017, and again in 2019, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s award for “Best Charitable Works” in Minor League Baseball, the only club to win that coveted award three times. For more information, visit www.riverbandits.com or contact General Manager Joe Kubly at (563) 333-2768.