Clinton, IA - The Quad Cities' faithful received a taste of what they'll see from Clinton left-hander James Paxton in next Tuesday's Midwest League All-Star Game at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, IA. Paxton struck out a career-high 13 batters over 6.1 innings and yielded just a run on four hits en route to his third win, leading the LumberKings to a 5-1 win over the River Bandits. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Kings and reduced the Bandits' Wild Card lead to a half-game over Wisconsin.
Paxton (W, 3-3) struck out six-straight batters from the first through third innings, but yielded his only run shortly after striking out Nick Longmire looking to start the third. Geoff Klein lined an opposite-field single to left, moved to second on an infield single by Michael Swinson and scored on a base hit up the box by Ronny Gil.
That hit cut the Clinton advantage to 2-1, but Paxton would recover to strike out Oscar Taveras looking, stranding Swinson and Gil.
The LumberKings then raised the lead to 4-1 with two runs off right-hander Trevor Rosenthal in the fourth inning. Robbie Anston coaxed a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single to center by Carlton Tanabe. After a Julio Morban sacrifice bunt moved them both into scoring position, Mickey Wiswall lined a single to center to score both Anston and Tanabe. Rosenthal gave up another hit to Matt Browning but left he and Wiswall on as Kevin Rivers grounded out to short.
Paxton, meanwhile, cruised through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before creating a jam for himself with one out in the seventh. He walked Longmire, watched as Browning's fielding error at third base put Victor Sanchez on base and then walked Jonathan Rodriguez to load the bases.
Right-hander Tyler Burgoon was brought in, and he induced a ground ball out of Klein that turned into a highlight-reel double play. Second-baseman Jorge Agudelo layed out to snare the ball, flipped to shortstop Carlos Ramirez while still flat on his belly and Ramirez gunned a throw to Tim Morris at first, ending the inning.
Burgoon (S, 7) then worked past his own missed catch error for a scoreless eighth inning and retired the final two Bandits on fly balls to Morban in center to end the game. He added two more strikeouts over his 2.2 innings, combining with Paxton on a single-game season-high 15 strikeouts.
Rosenthal (L, 3-7) allowed four runs, two earned on five hits over 6.0 innings and struck out seven for the Bandits. Right-hander Hector Corpas yielded an unearned run in the eighth as Anston singled home Morban for insurance.
Wiswall led the offense with a 1-for-4 game including his team-leading 28th and 29th RBI. Browning went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his second start in the cleanup spot. Agudelo and Anston also drove in runs for the LumberKings, who finish the first half with a 9-26 home record.
Gil had the only RBI for Quad Cities, going 1-for-4.
The LumberKings (22-45) head to Kane County to close up the first half against the Cougars (27-39). The series opens at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva, IL tomorrow night with a 7:00 PM start time. Right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-2, 2.61) starts for Clinton while Kane County answers with right-hander Leonel Santiago (4-6, 3.26). Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.