Bandits lose hits leader Taveras to injury

2011-04-10T22:06:00Z Bandits lose hits leader Taveras to injurySteve Batterson The Quad-City Times
April 10, 2011 10:06 pm  • 

Quad-Cities lost more than a game in the late innings for the second straight day.

The River Bandits also lost their early-season offensive leader to a hamstring injury Sunday before Beloit scored three times in the top of the eighth inning to earn a 5-3 victory and a split of its four-game, season-opening series at Modern Woodmen Park.

Oscar Taveras, an outfielder whose two hits Sunday raised his batting average to .667 through the opening weekend of the Midwest League season, suffered the injury as he tried to stop after beating out an infield single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Two innings after he had tied the game with a solo homer, Taveras ran several steps beyond the first-base bag before he fell to the ground.

Almost immediately, he pounded his left fist into the turf as River Bandits trainer Eric Bauer and manager Johnny Rodriguez rushed to his side.

Taveras was helped off the field, and Rodriguez said that while the extent of the injury has not yet been determined, it appears he will be sidelined for an extended period of time.

"If it will be three weeks, 10 days, a month, I do not know, but it will be awhile and I do know he will be missed," Rodriguez said. "It is a big loss. He was the best pure hitter I've have seen in awhile, and he brought our team some energy at the plate."

The youngest player on the Quad-Cities roster, Taveras does not celebrate his 19th birthday until June 19.

His two hits against the Snappers on Sunday continued the success he enjoyed during the opening days of the season.

Taveras has collected eight hits in his first 12 at-bats this season and he leads the River Bandits with two home runs and seven runs batted in through four games.

Described prior to the start of Sunday's game by Rodriguez as "an old-school hitter, the type of guy you saw a lot of in the 1960s and 70s who had a big, hard swing,'' Taveras was named an Appalachian League all-star last season after hitting .322 in 53 games for a Johnson City team which won the league title.

"He goes to right field, left field, beats out infield hits, he was doing a bit of everything,'' Rodriguez said.

That makes replacing him that much more of a challenge.

"Somebody is going to have to step up and lead us in the clutch,'' Rodriguez said. "Somebody is going to have to get the big hit for us, whether it is one guy or a collective effort, we need someone. He was becoming the guy for us, but he won't be there for awhile."

Beloit 5, Quad-Cities 3

SLOPPY FINISH: In a repeat of a loss Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader, Quad-Cities let Sunday's game get away in the late innings.

Beloit broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning, scoring three runs in a rally that began when Andrew Leer opened the inning with a single.

Daniel Santana followed with a sacrifice bunt, but relief pitcher Angel DeJesus' throw to second skipped into center field and as pinch runner Wang-Wei Lin headed toward third, center fielder Nick Longmire's throw sailed beyond the bag and into the River Bandits' dugout to break the tie.

Lance Ray followed with a run-scoring single and Derek McCallum added a sacrifice fly to extend the Snappers' lead to 5-2.

QUOTEBOOK: "This was the second straight game we gave away because of pitching and defensive mistakes late. We have to learn to execute the little things.'' - River Bandits manager Johnny Rodriguez

THREE-FOR-ONE: The River Bandits scored all three of their runs on solo homers. Oscar Taveras and Cody Stanley hit back-to-back jacks on consecutive pitches in the second inning as Quad-Cities opened a 2-1 lead. Kyle Conley added a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth.

All three balls followed a stout wind that was blowing from right to left, carrying them deep over the wall in left and left-center.

STRONG START: Quad-Cities saw why Beloit pitcher Adrian Salcedo is regarded as one of the top pitchers in the Twins organization. A free-agent signing in 2007 who Baseball America ranks as Minnesota's eighth-best prospect, Salcedo struck out 10 batters and walked one while scattering four hits over six innings.

That's nothing new. In 226-plus innings as a pro, he has struck out 199 batters and walked 30.

QUALITY STARTS: River Bandits left-hander Anthony Ferrara added to a season-opening string of four quality starts by Quad-Cities pitchers. He scattered six hits over six innings before leaving a 2-2 game.

ON DECK: Quad-Cities at Kane County, 3 p.m., today, Elfstrom Stadium, Geneva, Ill. Probable pitchers: Quad-Cities, Kevin Siegrist (0-0, 0.00 ERA); Kane County, Crawford Simmons (0-0, 0.00)

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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