With a 7-1 win over Burlington on Monday, the Quad-Cities River Bandits hit the midpoint of their first half schedule in the Midwest League with a 17-18 record.
Losses in seven of the last nine games have dropped the River Bandits below .500 for the first time since April 17, but manager Russ Steinhorn said some of Quad-Cities’ wins don’t show up on the scoreboard.
“The past week or so has been a little tough for us, so the win-loss record isn’t where any of us would like it to be, but we are winning in development,’’ Steinhorn said. “We’ve moved a good number of guys up to Buies Creek (the Astros’ high-A affiliate) and that is part of what we’re here to accomplish, too.’’
Quad-Cities has had six players promoted to the Carolina League team so far this season, movement that started with shortstop Anibal Sierra on April 17.
Pitchers Carlos Sierra and Hector Perez followed before catcher Jake Rogers and infielders Spencer Johnson and Randy Cesar were promoted this week.
The River Bandits currently lead the Midwest League with 42 home runs and 194 runs while rating fourth in the league with a .254 team batting average. Quad-Cities pitchers rank eighth in the league with a 3.82 team earned run average.
“The guys we have been getting in here from extended spring training are helping us, too, and I like the way things are going from a developmental perspective,’’ Steinhorn said.
He believes that ultimately will lead to more bottom-line success.
“We’ve been competing and even the games we’ve lost, we’ve continued to battle up to the end which is what you hope for,’’ Steinhorn said. “We’re still in the thick of things (three games out of first in the Western Division), so the plan is to keep working, keep playing hard and believing that the wins will follow. The talent is here.’’
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Kane County reliever Tommy Eveld proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Erica Nunn, prior to a Cougars’ game last week.
Nunn was visiting Kane County and it had been arranged for Eveld to catch a ceremonial first pitch being thrown out by Nunn. Eveld purchased a special glove for the occasion, having Nunn’s first initial and his last name stitched onto it.
He caught the ceremonial pitch, took the ball to the mound and showed Nunn the glove before dropping to one knee and proposing. She said, ‘yes,’ and he went back to work earning a save in a game that night against Great Lakes.
The couple met at South Florida, where Eveld played baseball and Nunn was on the softball team.
GOTCHA: Omar Lopez, the River Bandits’ manager in three of the past four seasons, was ejected from a Buies Creek game earlier this month after his team got caught falling for the hidden ball trick.
In a game against Carolina and former Quad-Cities shortstop Anibal Sierra batting, Kyle Tucker and Dexture McCall executed a successful double steal.
The ball never made it back to the mound where Mudcats pitcher Wuilder Rodriguez kept his foot off the rubber, allowing third baseman Lucas Erceg to apply the tag and record the out. Lopez argued the call unsuccessfully and was eventually given the rest of the night off.
WHITECAPS SWEEP: West Michigan players swept Midwest League weekly honors announced Monday.
Outfielder Cam Gibson was named the player of the week after going 10-for-26 with three homers and eight RBI with four multi-hit games during a road trip to Peoria and Burlington.
The Whitecaps’ Alfred Gutierrez earned pitcher of the week honors after striking out six over six shutout innings of one-hit work in a game at Peoria.
FAMILY TRAIT: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been living up to his family’s name so far this season for Lansing.
The 18-year-old son of the nine-time major-league all-star is off to a .320 start at the plate for the Lugnuts and ranking third in the league with a .435 on-base percentage.
“The thing I appreciate the most about him is his work ethic,’’ Lansing manager Cesar Martin said. “He’s not living on his name and is a real competitor. He has a very disciplined approach at the plate, but is aggressive.’’
Martin said Guerrero told him he talks a lot of baseball with his father.
“That tells me he is a pretty smart kid, too,’’ Martin said. “He’s been a good listener.’’
By the numbers
0-for-2: Fort Wayne and Bowling Green became the first pitching staffs in 13 series this season to hold Quad-Cities without a home run during a series.
5-for-8: Successful stolen base tries by Dayton vs. Quad-Cities in three games, adding to the Dragons’ league-leading total of 60 steals in 82 tries.
On a night when the Yankees retired the No. 2 jersey worn by Derek Jeter, the Astros’ No. 2 offered his own tribute.
Alex Bregman hit a first-inning grand slam Sunday for Houston and his first home run of the season was the difference in a 10-7 win over New York.
Bregman, currently hitting .258 for the Yankees, was the Astros’ first-round pick in 2015. He made his pro debut with the River Bandits, batting .259 with Quad-Cities that season.
TODAY: vs. Burlington, 11 a.m., Baseball in Education Day, Military Tuesday, Dew for Tuesday
WEDNESDAY: vs. Burlington, 6:30 p.m., Beers Around the World, River Bandits Pint Glass giveaway No. 1
THURSDAY: at Kane County, 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: at Kane County, 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: at Kane County, 6:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: at Kane County, 1 p.m.
MONDAY: vs. Peoria, 6:30 p.m., Salute to Bowling Night, Brews and Brats Monday discounts
TODAY: at Wisconsin, noon
WEDNESDAY: at Wisconsin, 6:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: vs. Burlington, 6:30 p.m., Thirsty Thursday beverage discounts, Jefferson Elementary PTA Night
FRIDAY: vs. Burlington, 6:30 p.m., Gateway IMPACT Coalition, Camanche-DeWitt Coalition Night, Fulton Elementary Night, Clinton Middle School PTA Night, Unity Christian Night, Eagle Heights PTA Night
SATURDAY: vs. Burlington, 6:30 p.m., Miss Clinton County Princess Night
SUNDAY: vs. Burlington, 2 p.m., DARE Day, LumberKings card strip giveaway No. 1
MONDAY: at Cedar Rapids, 6:30 p.m.