Quad Cities River Bandits right-hander Edison Frias and left-hander Blaine Sims combined to shut out the Lake County Captains until the ninth inning Sunday, and left fielder Ronnie Mitchell threw out the potential game-tying run at home plate for the final out of a 2-1 win in front of 5,758 at Modern Woodmen Park.
Frias (6-5) gave the River Bandits (14-15 second half, 49-49 overall) their second straight shutout start, as he went five scoreless innings for the third time this season. After a perfect first inning, he began the second inning by allowing consecutive singles to first baseman Nellie Rodriguez and second baseman Paul Hendrix before getting left fielder Dorssys Paulino to ground into a double play. A strikeout ended the inning, which was only one in which Lake County (15-14, 42-57) put a runner at third base before the ninth inning.
In the third inning, Frias allowed a two-out single by shortstop Ivan Castillo - the last Captains hit until the ninth inning - and a walk to center fielder Clint Frazier. But right fielder Mike Papi flied out to left field in his team's last at-bat with a runner in scoring position until the ninth inning. After a fourth-inning leadoff walk by Rodriguez, Frias retired the last six batters he faced. He allowed three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in his longest start and first win since June 27 in Peoria.
Captains right-hander Jordan Milbrath (3-10) kept the game scoreless through three innings. He stranded the bases loaded in the first inning. In the fourth inning, first baseman Chase McDonald hit a leadoff single to center field, and catcher Brian Holberton singled down the first-base line to move McDonald to third base. After second baseman Marc Wik popped out, designated hitter Jake Rodriguez put down his first Midwest League sacrifice bunt down the first-base line to score McDonald.
In the fifth inning, Milbrath allowed consecutive two-out doubles by third baseman J.D. Davis and Mitchell for a 2-0 River Bandits lead. Milbrath allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks with one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. Left-hander Wander Beras followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and right-hander Carlos Melo struck out all three batters in the eighth inning to keep his team's deficit at 2-0.
Following Frias, Sims set down seven batters in a row, before designated hitter Brian Ruiz hit a one-out single in the eighth inning to snap a string of 13 Captains retired in order. But Sims picked Ruiz off first base and got a popout to end the inning.
With a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning, Sims issued one-out walks to Papi and Rodriguez to put the tying runs on base. Hendrix then grounded a ball to shortstop Thomas Lindauer, who threw to Wik for a forceout at second base. Wik's errant throw past first base allowed Papi to score the first run against Quad Cities in 17 2/3 innings, and it put Hendrix at second base as the tying run with two outs. Paulino then grounded a single to left field, and with Hendrix running toward home plate, Mitchell threw a one-hopper to Holberton, who tagged Hendrix to end the game. Sims earned his first save since Aug. 29, 2012, by allowing one earned run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts in four innings. Quad Cities has won consecutive games for the first time since a July 6 home doubleheader sweep of Wisconsin.
In Monday's 1 p.m. series finale, Quad Cities seeks the first-ever season series sweep in the fifth year of the all-time series with Lake County. River Bandits right-hander Adrian Houser (4-4) is scheduled to face Captains right-hander Caleb Hamrick (3-5).
UP NEXT: Gates open at 11:30 a.m. on a Markdown Monday presented by 97X, with $2 bleacher and berm tickets, hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, soda and beer. An all-you-can-ride amusements pass will be just $10, and the Businessman Special offers a package of a bleacher seat, bacon cheeseburger, chips and a soda for just $10. Tickets are available at www.riverbandits.com. To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, and Space Camp opened June 20; the newly expanded 300-foot long zip line has also reopened. Soon to come is another new ride, this one called a "Drop and Twist." In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.