Right-hander Vincent Velasquez and left-hander Joe Bircher combined to hurl nine scoreless innings to pick up their fourth win as a duo, and lead the River Bandits (12-7) to a 4-0 victory over the Lugnuts (7-11) in front of 2,111 fans at Modern Woodmen Park on Friday night.
The River Bandits got on board early in a similar fashion to their first run in last night's series-opening contest between the two clubs. Teoscar Hernandez led off the River Bandits first with a single up the middle, stole second, and then went all the way around the bases to score on two wild pitches from Lugnuts' starter Daniel Norris. In last night's game, Ryan Dineen reached base on a strikeout, which got passed catcher Aaron Munoz in the fifth inning. Dineen then stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a wild pitch for the Bandits' first run.
Austin Elkins beat out a slow roller down the third base line, that was fielded by Lugnuts' pitcher Ben White for a RBI-infield single to tally the Bandits' second run in the fifth. The base knock extended Elkins hit streak to eight games, the longest for a Bandit this season. Hernandez led off the frame with a line drive single to left field, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by White on a pickoff attempt.
Terrell Joyce blasted a 2-run homer into the left field berm, his first of the year, to drive in Roberto Pena and give the Bandits a four run lead in the sixth. Pena started the inning with single to right, his second of the game.
Velasquez (3-0) tied a career-high by fanning eight Lugnut batters in five scoreless innings to earn his team-leading third win. Bircher collected his second save, striking out two and allowing two hits in four innings as the secondary starter. It was the first shutout by River Bandits' pitchers this season, with the last one coming against Kane County at Modern Woodmen Park on Aug. 23, 2012.
Pena and Hernandez each had multi-hit games on the night. Pena was 3-for-3 with a run scored, while Hernandez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and stole two bases.
Norris (0-2) allowed the Bandits' first run, his only surrendered, in four innings and suffered the loss for Lansing. White allowed the final three Quad Cities' runs on six hits in four innings.
Lance McCullers (0-2) and Daniel Minor (1-0) will toe the rubber for Quad Cities against Lansing's Javier Avendano (2-1) tonight at Modern Woodmen Park. McCullers is scheduled to deliver the game's first pitch at 7:00 p.m.