The Quad Cities River Bandits closed out a winning homestand with an impressive 9-3 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Tuesday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Matt Ruppenthal worked 7.0 scoreless innings on the mound and Freudis Nova went 4-4 at the plate with a double and a walk.The
The Quad Cities River Bandits closed out a winning homestand with an impressive 9-3 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Tuesday night at Modern Woodmen Park. Matt Ruppenthal worked 7.0 scoreless innings on the mound and Freudis Nova went 4-4 at the plate with a double and a walk.
The River Bandits (32-25, 75-48) scored early and often to build a large advantage. The scoring opened in the second inning when Zach Biermann doubled with one out. Trey Dawson's groundball to the right side advanced him to third and AJ Lee drove him in with a sharp single off the glove of third baseman Spencer Steer. Two more runs crossed the plate in the third inning when the Bandits took advantage of back-to-back hits from Nova and Wilyer Abreu. They were both in scoring position when Alex McKenna lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left field to double the advantage. Grae Kessinger followed with a single up the middle and it was a 3-0 game.
The gap widened when Quad Cities scored three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Kessinger worked a walk with one out and was joined on base by Alex Holderbach who singled through the right side. They executed a double steal to move into scoring position and Kessinger scored on an Austin Dennis fielder's choice bouncer to short. Cedar Rapids (32-25, 71-56) went to the bullpen with runners on the corners, calling on left-hander J.T. Perez. Dennis stole second and Biermann lined a two-run single the other way to widen the gap to 6-0.
In the very next frame, Nova and Abreu again began a rally with back-to-back base hits. Kessinger worked his third walk of the game to load the bases for Dennis. The right-fielder worked the count full and then slapped a bases-clearing double down the right field line and into the corner. Dennis was thrown out trying to turn it into a triple, but all three runners scored for a 9-0 lead. Dennis drove in a season-high four runs in the contest.
Ruppenthal was outstanding for a second straight outing on the mound. He allowed just three hits while blanking the Kernels over a season-high 7.0 innings of work. The right-hander has tossed 12.0 consecutive scoreless innings.
Cedar Rapids scratched across a trio of runs late in the game against reliever Joey Gonzalez. An unearned run broke up the shutout bid in the eighth inning. Daniel Ozoria singled to left, went all the way to third base on an errant pick-off throw and then scored on Spencer Steer's grounder to third. Jared Akins launched an opposite field two-run home run in the top of the ninth to close the gap to 9-3. The home run was his 11th of the season.
Eight of the nine players in the lineup registered at least one hit as the Bandits finished with 13 for the game. Nova's four-hit day led the way while both Abreu and Biermann collected two each. Ozoria was the only Cedar Rapids player to tally multiple hits as the Kernels ended the night with seven as a team.
The River Bandits will head to Peoria to open a three-game series with the Peoria Chiefs on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Jose Alberto Rivera (5-4, 4.33) will start the opener for the Bandits while the Chiefs will go with RHP Mike Brettell (4-9, 5.59).
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.