Stephen Wrenn and Jake Rogers added the exclamation point Thursday to another hard-hitting win for Quad-Cities, but the bats haven’t been doing all of the work lately for the River Bandits.
Pitchers Carson LaRue, Dustin Hunt and Derick Velazquez continued a string of solid pitching performances, limiting Clinton to five hits in an 8-2 Midwest League victory at Modern Woodmen Park.
“The offensive numbers are always going to get noticed, but our pitching and defense have been getting it done, too, and that certainly was the case again tonight,’’ River Bandits manager Russ Steinhorn said.
The series-opening win over the LumberKings was the fourth straight victory for Quad-Cities and like the three which preceded it, when the River Bandits hit the ball they hit it hard.
Six of the team’s 12 hits went for extra bases, including eighth-inning home runs by Wrenn and Rogers which extended a 5-1 lead and added to a collection of 14 homers in the last four games.
During an 8-6 start to the season Quad-Cities hitters have now left the park 21 times, the highest total in minor-league baseball.
“It’s been everybody,’’ said Rogers, one of four River Bandits to record multi-hit games. “Everybody in the lineup is making good contact and we’re playing with good confidence right now.’’
Steinhorn has seen a consistent approach at the plate as a common thread during the ongoing win streak.
“We’re getting good hard hits and we’re swinging at strikes,’’ he said. “We’re not swinging at stuff outside the zone and when we’re making loud contact which tells me we’re having good, quality at-bats.’’
As Quad-Cities has piled up 42 runs in its last four games, River Bandits pitchers have given up only seven.
Only one of Clinton’s runs Thursday was earned and that came in the second inning when Yojhan Quevedo followed a double by Luis Rengifo with a single against a drawn-in infield, two of the three hits allowed by LaRue over five innings.
“Our pitchers are all getting it done,’’ Rogers said. “They’re doing a good job of mixing pitches and letting the defense work for them. It was another good game for them, and we’ve seen a lot of that lately.’’
Three batters was all it took for Quad-Cities to regain a lead it never relinquished.
Spencer Johnson reached on a walk to open the bottom half of the second and advanced on the first of Rodrigo Ayarza’s three hits before Chuckie Robinson laced a two-run double into left.
Marcos Almonte followed with a single up the middle to score Robinson, giving the River Bandits a 3-1 lead.
Quad-Cities extended its lead in the fifth when a pair of runs scored on a single and an error on a ball hit to right by Johnson.
Hunt followed by allowing one baserunner over the next three innings before Velazquez surrendered an unearned run during a one-hit ninth inning.