Quad Cities River Bandits center fielder Teoscar Hernandez homered twice to drive in all five of the team's runs in a combined shutout effort from left-hander Brian Holmes and right-handers Zach Morton and Juan Minaya for a 5-0 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in front of 4,171 at Modern Woodmen Park Sunday night.
On a day of highlights, the River Bandits (30-18 second half, 68-49 overall) turned their second triple play of the season. With a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning, Morton allowed back-to-back singles by catcher Parker Berberet and third baseman Alfredo Rodriguez. With both runners taking off on a pitch, center fielder Lance Roenicke hit a fly ball down the right-field line. River Bandits right fielder Jordan Scott made the catch before reaching the foul line, and he threw to first baseman Bobby Borchering to double off Rodriguez. Borchering then tossed to shortstop Austin Elkins at second base for the 9-3-6 triple play. Elkins was also part of a ground-ball, 5-4-3 triple play on April 28 at home against Great Lakes.
Quad Cities' last two triple plays before this season came in 2007, when second baseman Jaime Landin and first baseman Brandon Buckman were each part of triple plays May 31 against Clinton and June 16 against Beloit.
Holmes (4-3) was stellar in going six innings for a second straight start to earn his first win since May 3. He allowed three singles and a walk while striking out seven batters. He had three 1-2-3 innings and set down the final seven batters he faced. Morton worked around two hits and a walk in the seventh and eighth innings, and Minaya pitched around a single in a scoreless ninth inning. The Timber Rattlers (21-28, 50-64) were held to six hits and no runs after a seven-run, 12-hit, three-homer showing Saturday night.
Wisconsin starter Jorge Lopez (6-8) retired the first seven River Bandits hitters, including four on strikeouts, before Scott had a one-out bunt single in the third inning. Scott was later thrown out trying to steal third, but Elkins and second baseman Tony Kemp hit consecutive singles with two outs. Hernandez then drove an 0-1 offering to the Modern Woodmen Berm for a 3-0 lead. The four-hit, three-run inning was the only offense against Lopez, who retired seven straight hitters following the home run and finished with six strikeouts.
In the eighth inning, Kemp reached against right-hander Jono Armold on a fielding error by second baseman Chris McFarland. Hernandez then hit a 3-2 pitch just over the left-field fence to the berm, capping his 3-for-4, five-RBI game. His two home runs and five RBIs matched career highs set July 20, 2011, when he played in the Dominican Summer League against a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate.
Sunday's victory also means The Captain's Table at 4801 River Drive in Moline will offer The Captain's Table Victory Discount on Monday, Aug. 12. Anyone who mentions the River Bandits victory can receive a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two lunches or dinners with beverages on Monday, Aug. 12. The River Bandits will play the rubber match of the series Monday at 7 p.m. against Wisconsin. Quad Cities right-hander and 2013 No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel (1-0) will face right-hander Austin Ross (0-0).
UP NEXT: Modern Woodmen Park is a nominee for the "Best Minor League Ballpark" in the 2013 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, and fans can vote once per day at 10Best.com until the winner is announced Aug. 14. The River Bandits' next home game is Monday night, when a wristband for all-you-can-eat hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn and nachos is $15 on Munchie Monday presented by 97X. Single-game tickets are on sale at the River Bandits box office at Modern Woodmen Park, by phone at 563-324-3000 and online at www.riverbandits.com. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is planned for next spring, along with a carousel and other new games and attractions. This season, the team just unveiled a new 300-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, a Mediacom Frog Hopper, and a number of new bounce houses . The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans can see the first team in Minor League Baseball history with back-to-back No. 1 overall draft picks - 2012 top pick Carlos Correa and 2013 top pick Mark Appel, as well as 2012 first-round draft choice Lance McCullers. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, the second half of this season is one every fan will not want to miss!