DAYTON, Ohio - The Dayton Dragons broke a scoreless tie with five runs against right-hander Michael Feliz in the fifth inning, which was enough to end the Quad Cities River Bandits' five-game winning streak in a 5-2 final Friday night at Fifth Third Field.
Dragons right-hander Nick Travieso (9-5) and River Bandits left-hander Chris Cotton matched zeroes for the first 4 ½ innings. Travieso walked three of the first four Quad Cities hitters to load the bases with one out. But he struck out first baseman Chase McDonald and got second baseman Marc Wik to ground out to the mound to end the inning.
Quad Cities (17-16 second half, 52-50 overall) also loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning, as McDonald doubled to right-center field, Mitchell singled and catcher Brett Booth walked. But Travieso got designated hitter Jake Rodriguez to ground to third baseman Tanner Rahier, who threw home to begin a 5-2-3 double play. Shortstop Dayne Parker popped out to second base to end the inning. Travieso pitched five shutout innings, allowing three hits and five walks with five strikeouts while Quad Cities left seven runners on base.
In his first start in the Midwest League, Cotton allowed a leadoff single by Dragons second baseman Jamodrick McGruder but immediately got a ground-ball double play and faced the minimum through the first three innings. In the fourth inning, Cotton had retired 10 batters in order before allowing three straight two-out singles by third baseman Tanner Rahier, center fielder Phillip Ervin and first baseman Avain Rachal - the last an infield single - to load the bases. Cotton struck out catcher Jose Ortiz to complete four innings, scattering four hits without a walk and three strikeouts.
In a scoreless game, Feliz (6-3) began the fifth inning by getting left fielder Gabriel Rosa on a flyout to center field. Shortstop Carlton Daal then doubled down the left-field line, as did designated hitter Nick Benedetto to score the first run. McGruder walked, and right fielder Jonathan Reynoso hit an RBI single to center field, and the throw from the outfield put runners at second and third bases. Rahier blooped a two-run single to left-center field and scored on Ervin's RBI double to make it 5-0. Ervin was thrown out at third base, but Feliz was taken out after two-thirds of an inning, having allowed five earned runs on five hits and one walk. Right-hander Frederick Tiburcio entered to record the final out and yielded just one hit while striking out two batters in 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
With a 5-0 lead, Dayton (15-18, 51-50) brought in left-hander Nolan Becker to start the sixth inning. With one out, he allowed a double by Wik and single by Booth before walking Rodriguez to load the bases. Parker grounded into a fielder's choice, and an errant throw by McGruder to first base allowed both Wik and Booth to score. Right fielder James Ramsay flied out to right field to end the inning. Becker pitched a perfect seventh inning to work two innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
In the eighth inning, Dragons right-hander Alejandro Chacin walked McDonald before allowing Wik's third hit - a single - to bring the tying run to the plate. Booth struck out, and Rodriguez grounded to Rahier, beginning a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. In the ninth inning, Chacin allowed a leadoff single by Parker and two-out single by third baseman J.D. Davis. Left fielder Ronnie Mitchell came up as the tying run, but he struck out to end his team's first loss in one week. Chacin earned his 11th save with four strikeouts in two innings.
Quad Cities continues its road trip to Eastern Division ballparks by opening its first three-game series in two years in Bowling Green at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. River Bandits left-hander Blaine Sims (1-2) is scheduled to face Hot Rods right-hander D.J. Slaton (0-0).
UP NEXT: The River Bandits are in the running for the 2014 Quad-City Times Readers' Choice Awards in the categories of "Best Entertainment Venue," "Best Family Entertainment," "Best Place for a Kid's Birthday Party," and "Best Place to Take Out of Town Guest". Game 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.