The Quad Cities River Bandits fell behind in the first at bat of their game with the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park. However, from that point forward Jose Bravo and Valente Bellozo did not allow another run and C.J. Stubbs hit a three-run home run to lead the Bandits to a 4-1 victory in the opening game of the series.
Quad Cities (30-24, 73-47) starting pitcher Jose Bravo entered the game with a streak of 16.1 consecutive scoreless innings on the mound. That streak was snapped after one batter when Cedar Rapids leadoff hitter Spencer Steer hit a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a solo home run. It was the second long ball of the season for the 2019 draft pick of the Twins and gave the Kernels a 1-0 lead.
Bravo and Bellozo took over the game the rest of the way and never gave the Kernels an opportunity to add on. Bravo ended up earning the victory by tossing 5.0 innings and allowing just two hits. The 19-year old Bellozo was dominant in his Midwest League debut once the starter departed. He picked up the save by surrendering just two hits and punching out five over 4.0 scoreless frames.
Cedar Rapids (31-23, 70-54) maintained the 1-0 lead into the bottom half of the fourth inning. Tyler Palm, the Kernels starter, had retired the first ten hitters he faced in the game before Wilyer Abreu hooked a triple into the right field corner. Grae Kessinger followed with a sharp single up the middle to tie the game. The run batted in was his 14th of the campaign.
The final damage of the night came in the Bandits fifth inning. Austin Dennis opened the frame by beating out a chopper to third for an infield single. He stole second base and then was joined on base by Zach Biermann after he walked. That brought Stubbs to the plate still in search of his first hit in the Midwest League. He worked the count in his favor 2-0 and then jumped on a belt-high fastball and drove it over the wall in left field for a three-run blast that gave the River Bandits a 4-1 advantage.
Dennis led the River Bandits with two hits and Steer also posted a pair for the Kernels. Oscar Campos went 0-4 at the plate as his hit streak ended at nine games.
The series continues on Sunday evening at 5:15 p.m. RHP Brett Daniels (5-6, 1.97) will throw for the River Bandits against Cedar Rapids RHP Andrew Cabezas (5-6, 3.77). It will be another jam-packed Hy-Vee Family Sunday at the ballpark with pre-game autographs and kids running the bases after the game. Fans can bring their four-legged friends to the game on Bark in the Park Day presented by Econolodge Bettendorf. In addition, the first 1,000 fans into the stadium will receive a baseball display case presented by Midwest Technical Institute.
All River Bandits games are broadcast on 1170 K-BOB and TuneIn Radio. Home games are also available with video on MiLB.TV.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.