The Quad-Cities River Bandits left Modern Woodmen Park on Monday night with unfinished business.
Kane County reminded the Midwest League Western Division leaders of that, beating the River Bandits 9-3 in front of a crowd of 3,112.
In addition to ending Quad-Cities’ four-game win streak and halting their own five-game skid, the Cougars also denied the River Bandits a chance to wrap up the first-half division championship on their home field.
Quad-Cities did move closer to winning its second straight first-half title in the Western Division on Monday. Clinton’s 4-2 win at Burlington cut the River Bandits’ magic number to claim the division crown to one.
Already assured of a playoff berth after winning Sunday, Quad-Cities (39-21) needs to win just one game or have Burlington lose once over the final six games of the half to earn the title.
“We looked a little like a team playing a day after a celebration,’’ River Bandits manager Ray Hernandez said. “If we don’t win of the next six, we don’t deserve anything. We come back, get ready for the next one and keep working. Nothing has changed.’’
Quad-Cities begins that work tonight, opening a three-game series at Beloit.
On Monday, a 28-minute half inning ended the River Bandits’ hopes of clinching anything.
Kane County sent 11 batters to the plate during a six-run fifth inning which more than erased the 2-1 lead Quad-Cities had opened in the third on the first of two Ruben Castro sacrifice flies.
The Cougars’ Daniel Wasinger and Zac Almond drew inning-opening walks off of River Bandits starter Matt Ruppenthal and things only went downhill from there.
Following a sacrifice by KeShawn Lynch, Alek Thomas sliced a go-ahead two-run single through the vacated left side of the infield to put Kane County ahead to stay.
Zack Shannon followed with an RBI single off of reliever Devin Conn before a hit batter and the third of the four walks the Cougars collected in the inning loaded the bases.
Eddie Hernandez cleared them, sending a triple into the right field corner to give Kane County at 7-2 lead Quad-Cities couldn’t catch.
“We tried to let Ruppenthal work through it and they got the big hit. Then they came up with another one off of Conn. It was a long inning,’’ Hernandez said. “We didn’t come up with the outs we needed.’’
The River Bandits finished with seven hits in the game, including doubles by Ross Adolph, Orlando Marquez and Wilyer Abreu. For both Marquez and Abreu, the hits were the first since joining Quad-Cities on May 31 from extended spring training.
"It's good to get those guys going and Adolph, he's coming on,'' Hernandez said.
Castro drove home the River Bandits’ final two runs, scoring Adolph in the third after the first of his two hits and Abreu in the fifth.
Quad-Cities’ other run scored in the first when Michael Wielansky reached on an error and came around to score when Freudis Nova drove single into left.
Clinton 4, Burlington 2: The Clinton LumberKings used a three-run sixth inning to earn a series-closing Midwest League win Monday night in Burlington.
Zach Scott singled home Marcos Rivera to tie the game at 1-all in the top of the sixth inning, and Will Banfield added a go-ahead, 2-run home run to make the score 3-1.
Connor Scott added a homer in the top of the ninth for Clinton, which moved to 31-32 in the first half.