BURLINGTON, Iowa - Edison Frias struck out five over five shutout innings to lead the Quad Cities River Bandits to a 4-0 victory Friday over the Burlington Bees at Community Field.
Frias walked just one and allowed two hits before yielding to Evan Grills, who retired the first seven batters he faced, ultimately fanning three with just one walk and one hit allowed in three innings. Frederick Tiburcio worked a perfect ninth with a strikeout to finish things off and help the Bandits salvage the three-game series.
In a scoreless game in the top of the second, Tyler White singled to right to lead things off. A fielder's choice put Brett Phillips on at first. Burlington starter Ryan Etsell tried a pickoff attempt, but first baseman Eric Aguilera missed the throw, allowing Phillips to move to second. After Austin Elkins popped out, Thomas Lindauer doubled down the left field line to score Phillips and make the score 1-0 River Bandits.
Burlington put the leadoff man on in the top of the fourth. The next batter, Angel Rosa, hit a hard groundball up the middle. Quad Cities shortstop Thomas Lindauer ranged to his left, fielded the ball behind the second base bag and flipped the ball behind his back with his glove to Chan-Jong Moon covering the second base bag for the force. Moon was able to complete the relay to first for the double play.
With the score still 1-0 in the sixth, Grant Gordon came out of the bullpen to replace Etsell (4-2), who allowed the lone unearned run in the second on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings, ultimately taking the loss. Brian Holberton immediately greeted Gordon with a base hit to rightfield. White, who finished 2-for-5, then laced a double into the left-center field gap to score Holberton from first and make the score 2-0.
Quad Cities added to their lead in the eighth. Phillips, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, lofted a fly ball to shallow right. However, Burlington right fielder Ranyelmy Mendoza lost the ball in the lights and had it drop to his left. Phillips raced around the bases to third and was credited with his eighth triple of the year. Elkins then dribbled a groundball down the first base line by a drawn-in infield to plate Phillips and give Quad Cities a 3-0 advantage. With Thomas Lindauer batting, Elkins stole second and reached third on a throwing error by Bees catcher Stephen McGee. Lindauer's groundout to short held Elkins 90 feet away, but then Tanner Mathis successfully executed a suicide squeeze play to score Elkins and make things 4-0.
Quad Cities begins a three-game series tomorrow with the Peoria Chiefs, who leads the Bandits by one game in the Western Division Wild Card chase. Kevin Comer (0-0, 3.10 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for Quad Cities.
UP NEXT: The River Bandits return to Modern Woodmen Park at 6 p.m. Saturday with a Craig Biggio Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Prairie Farms and FOX18 for the first 1,500 fans. Tickets are available at riverbandits.comm. 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 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 110 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, followed by a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded 300-foot long zip line, and many other new games and attractions. 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.