The numbers didn’t add up Thursday night for the Quad-Cities River Bandits, but they’ll take the win.
“When you give up more walks than hits, that’s not usually a good thing, but when you do that and find a way to win, you grab it and go,’’ River Bandits manager Russ Steinhorn said.
Quad-Cities pitchers held Burlington to seven hits but walked nine Bees and leaned on a persistent River Bandits offense which stung the Bees for runs in seven of the eight innings they batted in a 9-8 Midwest League victory at Modern Woodmen Park.
“The offense never quit, and that gave us a chance,’’ Steinhorn said. “We have a lot to learn from this one, including that you can never let up. Leading 6-2 with just a third of the game left, that would have been easy, but our guys didn’t do that.’’
A pair of runs that answered the two Burlington scored in the top half of the eighth inning eventually proved to be the difference.
The Bees had taken an 8-7 lead on a run-scoring groundout by Sam McDonnell and an RBI single by John Schuknecht before Abraham Toro-Hernandez reached on a walk to open the Bandits’ half of the eighth.
Osvaldo Duarte followed with a bunt toward the third base side of the mound and when Bees pitcher Adrian Almeida’s throw sailed past first, Toro-Hernandez scored the tying run and Duarte found himself on third base.
Chuckie Robinson’s third hit of the game, a single sliced through the left side of the infield, drove Duarte home with the game-winning run.
“We kept working, kept putting pressure on the defense and it led to runs,’’ Steinhorn said.
The Bees, who scored runs on four of the seven walks issued by River Bandits relievers in the final three innings, moved runners to the corners in the ninth before Salvado Montano (5-2) recorded a game-ending strikeout.
“The difference between early and late was the free passes. (Starting pitcher Cristian) Javier walked two over six innings, so he didn’t get hurt that much when he gave up a hit,’’ Steinhorn said. “The last three innings, the walks let them get back in it.’’
Javier delivered the longest outing of his career, scattered three hits over six innings. He finished off his seven-strikeout performance by retiring the final two batters he faced before exiting with a 6-2 lead.
The Bees celebrated his departure by scoring four runs on back-to-back doubles by Franklin Navarro and Juan Moreno, tying the game in the top of the seventh.
Quad-Cities answered quickly, regaining a short-lived 7-6 lead on a sacrifice fly in the seventh by Chas McCormick.
A leadoff home run by Richie Fecteau in the second inning was the only hit the Javier allowed through four innings.
The River Bandits right-hander followed the line-drive shot to right by retiring the next 10 batters he faced before Sam McDonnell reached on the second of the two walks allowed by the Quad-Cities starter.
“Javier showed good progress from his past outings and that’s what we are looking to see,’’ Steinhorn said. “He gave us a great start and we gave him plenty of help with the bats.’’
The River Bandits scored six runs on a collection of 10 hits through five innings.