DAVENPORT, IOWA (July 24, 2019) — The Peoria Chiefs trailed by a pair of runs most of the night, but put up seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to shock the Quad Cities River Bandits by a 9-5 score on Wednesday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Brandon Benson’s grand slam amidst the rally was the blow that gave Peoria the lead for good.
Quad Cities (17-13, 60-36) pitching had limited Peoria to just two hits entering the fateful seventh frame. Matt Ruppenthal, who had taken over in the fifth, allowed three consecutive singles to open the Chiefs' seventh, the last of which cut the lead in half. A walk loaded the bases and Imeldo Diaz cashed in with a base hit to tie the game. The next batter, Benson, took a pitch inside to start his at-bat before driving the second offering over the left-field wall for a grand slam that made it a 6-2 Peoria advantage. The grand slam was the third allowed by Bandits pitching this season. Later in the frame, Ivan Herrera was picked off first with the bases loaded, but stayed in a rundown long enough to allow Delvin Perez to score from third to push the lead to five runs.
The River Bandits got a run back when Trey Dawson doubled in the bottom of the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch. However, Peoria (7-24, 37-63) answered with two runs of their own by taking advantage of three walks in the top of the eighth.
Trailing 9-3 entering the home half of the eighth, the Bandits had one more surge left. Alex McKenna and Alex Holderbach hit back-to-back singles with one out and then Chiefs reliever Leonardo Taveras walked three batters in a row to force in two runs and allow the tying run to come to the plate. Peoria went to Freddy Pacheco and the right-hander caught Dennis looking to end the rally. He would also pitch a scoreless ninth to collect his first save.
In his first appearance with the River Bandits since 2017, Abdiel Saldana started the game and worked 4.0 scoreless innings. Ruppenthal was charged with six runs on six hits in 2.1 innings of work as the losing pitcher.
The Chiefs outhit the Bandits by a 10-8 margin with six of the hits coming in the seventh. Jonatan Machado, Brady Whalen, and Ivan Herrera each collected two hits. Dennis and Dawson paced the Bandits with two hits of their own.
The second game of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at 6:35PM. RHP Brett Daniels (4-5, 1.88) will work for the River Bandits. The Chiefs will hand the ball to RHP Mike Brettell (3-6, 5.30). There will be $2 beer and drink specials on another Thirsty Thursday. In addition, water bottled will be given away by TD Ameritrade Quad Cities.
Peoria (R-H-E): 9-10-3
Quad Cities (R-H-E): 5-8-0
Win: Locey (1-1)
Loss: Ruppenthal (3-4)
Save: Pacheco (1)
HR: Peoria: Brandon Benson (4, 7th inning, 3 on base)
HR: Quad Cities: Austin Dennis (3, 3rd inning, 0 on base)
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.