With two games remaining in the regular season, the Quad-Cities River Bandits are looking to build a little momentum before the start of postseason play on Wednesday.
Peoria ended the River Bandits' five-game winning streak Saturday, handling Quad-Cities 8-2 in front of a crowd of 5,976 at Modern Woodmen Park.
"The hope for the next couple of games is to move beyond this one. We want to get things going the way they have been and go into the playoffs ready to add to what we've already done," River Bandits manager Johnny Rodriguez said.
Quad-Cities clinched the second-half title in the Midwest League's Western Division with a win at Wisconsin on Thursday.
A victory Friday assured the River Bandits of no worse than a tie for the best overall record in the Western Division, something that could benefit Quad-Cities if it moves beyond the best-of-3 Western Division semifinals series.
"This team I am working with now, they are the team that has clinched those things and they have done it without (injured first baseman Matt Adams)," Rodriguez said. "Now, it is about finishing these next two games strong, getting ourselves ready to open on the road at Clinton, Beloit or Kane County."
The River Bandits' opening-round opponent has yet to be determined, one reason Rodriguez wants Quad-Cities (82-54) to focus on itself during its final two regular-season games with the Chiefs. He expects his lineup over the next couple of days to resemble the one he plans to put on the field for the postseason.
He will also get a look at an additional catcher with a left-handed bat.
Cody Johnson, a .321 hitter at short-season Johnson City who was St. Louis' fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, is expected to join Quad-Cities today.
"He could give us some options," Rodriguez said.
SCORE: Peoria 8, Quad-Cities 2
EARLY HOLE: Peoria scored in each of the four innings Eric Fornataro was on the mound Saturday, taking advantage of two Quad-Cities errors that led to four unearned runs and an early 7-0 deficit for the River Bandits.
The Chiefs' Matt Cerda - whose 5-for-5 day at the plate included three doubles - broke the game open with a three-run double in the second inning before Peoria's Nelson Perez opened the third with a homer.
QUOTEBOOK: "We had no energy. It was a bad game - offense, defense and pitching except for the bullpen which did a good job. It was just a bad game.'' - River Bandits manager Johnny Rodriguez
AVOIDING ZERO: Quad-Cities avoided being shut out for just the fifth time in 136 games this season when Luis Mateo tripled to the gap in right-center to open the fifth. He then scored on a fielder's choice by Frederick Parejo, cutting into a 7-0 lead by Peoria.
OFFENSIVE EFFORT: Luis Mateo collected two of the River Bandits' six hits Saturday, following his fifth inning triple with a two-out single in the sixth.
CLOSING IN: Peoria's Justin Bour inched closer to injured River Bandits first baseman Matt Adams on the league RBI charts, driving in three runs.
A run-scoring fielder's choice in the first inning, a sacrifice fly in the fourth and an RBI sixth-inning single gives Bour 86 RBI on the season, two shy of Adams' league-leading total.
NEXT: Peoria at Quad-Cities, today, 7 p.m.