River Bandits

WHO: Clinton LumberKings

WHEN: Today-Friday, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Alliant Energy Field, Clinton, Iowa

FAST STAT: Mike McGee, a 15th-round pick of the Mariners in this year’s draft, owns the longest hitting streak by a LumberKing this season. His 16-game streak ran from July 28-July 17 and included two hits in the last series between Quad-Cities and Clinton.

WHO: Beloit Snappers

WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Monday-Tuesday, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport

FAST STAT: The Snappers’ leading hitter, first baseman Michael Gonzales, is currently on the disabled list. He leads Beloit with a .286 average.

HAPPENINGS: Saturday, Rudy’s Tacos River Bandits umbrella giveaway and postgame concert; Sunday, US Bank Family Sunday, Nestle Purina Dog Days of Summer and Monkey Joe’s Kids Run the Bases; Monday, Klements Dollar Dog Monday; Tuesday, Autographed Baseball Night, Kraft Singles 2-for-1 Tickets, CBS4 Kids Eat Free Night


WHO: Quad-Cities River Bandits

WHEN: Today-Friday, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Alliant Energy Field, Clinton, Iowa

FAST STAT: Batting .374, River Bandits outfielder Oscar Taveras at No. 24 is the Bandits’ highest-ranked active prospect.

HAPPENINGS: Today, Louie’s Grand Slam ticket special including four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, sodas and chips for $25; Thursday, Thirsty Thursday beverage discounts; Friday, Ghostriders appearance presented by First Gateway Credit Union and KWQC

WHO: Kane County Cougars

WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Monday-Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Alliant Energy Field, Clinton, Iowa

FAST STAT: Kane County and Clinton currently rank 1-2 in the chase for second-half playoff berths in the Western Division.

HAPPENINGS: Saturday, KLJB football trip giveaway, Sauk Valley Night and postgame concert by One Brick Shy; Sunday, Jackson County Day, All Faith’s Day and Family Day;  Miller Lite Monday; Tuesday, Kraft Singles 2-for-1 tickets


Blair works toward return

Quad-Cities pitcher Seth Blair is working toward a return next week from the disabled list, where the River Bandits right-hander has been since Aug. 4.

Manager Johnny Rodriguez said tentative plans call for Blair to return to the mound next Monday after missing a pair of starts.

“He has not felt 100 percent for some time and rather than pitch him at less that full strength, the decision was made to put him on the DL and give him time to get healthy again,’’ Rodriguez said.

A supplemental first-round selection of the Cardinals in the 2010 draft from Arizona State, the Rock Falls, Ill., native has gone 5-3 with a 5.06 ERA in 19 starts for Quad-Cities this season.

Blair, who struck out 67 batters and walked 61 in 74.2 innings of work for the River Bandits, threw what Rodriguez labeled a successful simulated game in the bullpen late last week.

Schedule takes shape

The 2012 Midwest League schedule will look a lot like schedules the league has operated on over the past two seasons.

League president George Spelius said league directors have generally liked the results they have seen over the past two seasons, when the league experimented with teams playing just one three-game series per season against each of the eight teams from the opposite division.

“The original intent was to reduce travel and it has accomplished that. There are still some folks who would like to see every team coming into their ballpark every season instead of once every two years, but for the time being we will move forward with things as they are,’’ Spelius said.

In the past, league teams played opponents from the opposite division both at home and on the road, once in each half. The change was made when the league expanded from 14 to 16 teams in 2009 and expanded its geographic footprint further east in Ohio and further south into Kentucky.

Bees are buzzed

Burlington brought an assortment of new hairstyles to Modern Woodmen Park last week.

At least eight Bees are sporting Mohawk haircuts of various shapes and sizes, featuring a variety of patterns cut into the back of their hair.

Most are the work of pitcher Josh Bowman.

“He has a way with the clippers,’’ Burlington infielder Nelson Leyja said.

You can get there from here

Kane County catcher Paul Krebs had players doing a double take at the Royals spring training camp this season.

Many remembered him as a groundskeeping intern for Burlington in 2009, but Krebs has proven to be more than handy with a rake.

The Bees were a Royals affiliate at the time and he has attended two Kansas City tryout camps since working with the Burlington club. The Royals offered the former Minnesota-Crookston catcher a chance to attend spring training after watching him compete at a tryout last fall.

“I started catching bullpens and doing whatever I was asked to do. The first few days, guys would walk up and say ‘Didn’t you used to work on the grounds crew at Burlington?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I just kept working and by the end of the camp, I was still around,’’ said Krebs, who has one hit in three games. “I’ll see where it takes me.’’

Savard, Bandits clash in Peoria

Chicago Blackhawks hall of famer Dennis Savard will be the featured guest when the Peoria Chiefs host Hockey Night festivities on Aug. 25 during a game against Quad-Cities.

Savard and the Blackhawks’ longtime national anthem vocalist, Jim Cornelison, are both scheduled to appear along with mascots and representatives of Peoria’s minor-league hockey franchise.


Bandits batting leaders

Player        AB    R    H    RBI    BA

M. O’Neill        44    8    18    7    .409

O. Taveras    235    42    88    47    .374

K. Wong        168    31    55    20    .327

G. Klein        138    17    37    22    .268

C. Walsh        179    27    47    25    .263

Bandits pitching leaders

Player        W-L    IP    SO    BB    ERA

D. Kiekhefer    4-1    46.2    38    10    1.54

B. Whiting        3-1    102.1    108    19    2.02

A. Ferrara        11-6    111.2    83    43    2.98

J. Edwards        3-1    24.0    17    9    3.00

A. Lucas        1-4    29.1    25    13    3.38


Prospects to keep an eye on at Modern Woodmen Park in upcoming days:

DANIEL ORTIZ: The Beloit outfielder was a fourth-round pick of the Twins in 2008. He ranks third in the league with 30 doubles and is currently batting .248 with 10 homers and 63 RBIs.

LANCE RAY: Leads the Midwest League with 32 doubles. The Beloit outfielder, an eighth-round pick of Minnesota in 2010 from Kentucky, bats .269 with 13 homers and 61 RBIs.


Denard Span, Minnesota

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Has struggled to a

1-for-37 start in his first 10 games back in the majors after missing two months with a concussion. The Twins outfielder is batting .263 for the year.

Q-C CONNECTION: A first-round pick of Minnesota in 2002, Span hit .267 in 64 games with Quad-Cities in 2004. He had four doubles, three triples and 14 RBIs in his Midwest League stay.


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