The Quad Cities River Bandits overcame a 4-0, first-inning deficit Wednesday night, but they later lost leads of 5-4 and 7-6 and did not score after the fourth inning, as the Clinton LumberKings rallied for a 9-7 victory at Ashford University Field.
Quad Cities (30-20 second half, 68-51 overall) played its highest scoring game - 16 runs - since July 7 and has lost consecutive games for the first time since July 21. The loss pushed the River Bandits 2 ½ games behind first-place Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League Western Division standings. Clinton (25-26, 58-62) won its third straight game.
In the first inning, River Bandits left-hander Josh Hader allowed consecutive doubles by LumberKings shortstop Brock Hebert and second baseman Tim Lopes for a 1-0 deficit. Hader walked the next three batters, and a wild pitch scored a run before a strikeout. A bases-loaded hit batter, strikeout and fourth walk in the inning made it 4-0, before right-hander Daniel Minor took over for the final out.
River Bandits third baseman Rio Ruiz homered to lead off the second inning against right-hander Rigoberto Garcia. In the third inning, right fielder Teoscar Hernandez, shortstop Carlos Correa, left fielder Danry Vasquez and first baseman Bobby Borchering hit four consecutive singles. With two outs, designated hitter Terrell Joyce hit a two-run double to left-center field for a 5-4 Quad Cities lead.
The LumberKings retook the lead in the bottom of the third, as catcher Marcus Littlewood and first baseman Taylor Ard hit consecutive doubles, and second baseman Tim Lopes hit a go-ahead, two-out single for a 6-5 Clinton lead.
In the Quad Cities fourth inning, second baseman Austin Elkins walked, and center fielder Tony Kemp hit a single, before both advanced on Hernandez's sacrifice. Correa then hit a single through the middle to bring in both runners for a 7-6 River Bandits advantage.
After Minor completed 3 1/3 innings with two runs allowed, right-hander Patrick Christensen pitched a scoreless fifth but allowed the tying run in the sixth, as a walk and hit batter put the tying run in scoring position, and Elkins' error allowed the tying run to score.
In the seventh inning, River Bandits right-hander Zach Morton allowed three straight hits, including a go-ahead single by center fielder Alfredo Morales. The LumberKings added a run in the eighth when Ard hit an RBI single.
Right-hander Richard Vargas got the final two outs of the eighth inning with the tying run in scoring position and earned his second save.
The River Bandits continue the series in Clinton at 7 p.m. Thursday. River Bandits right-hander Lance McCullers (6-5) is scheduled to face LumberKings left-hander Scott DeCecco (9-8).