Taking the mound as a scoreless game entered the top of the sixth inning Saturday, Brock Dykxhoorn found one thing running through his mind.
“Keep it going, keep putting up zeroes,’’ the Quad-Cities right-handed pitcher said after turning those thoughts into actions.
Dykxhoorn finished off the River Bandits’ fourth shutout of the season, combining with Joshua James and Jorge Perez in a 2-0, four-hit Midwest League victory over Peoria in front of a crowd of 6,619 at Modern Woodmen Park.
“We haven’t had too many games like this,’’ Dykxhoorn said. “The bats usually give us plenty of runs to work with, but their starter (Luis Perdomo) threw a good game. It’s good to know we can win this way, too.’’
James set a quick tempo early, working around a pair of hits in the first two innings of a scoreless four-inning start.
“He pounded the zone with a heavy fastball, but I felt like he did a good job of using his change-up, too,’’ Quad-Cities manager Josh Bonifay said. “On a night when pitching was our story from start to finish, James got us off to a good start.’’
As James and Perez limited the Chiefs to three hits through five innings, Perdomo scattered seven hits over a seven-inning start for Peoria.
He was tagged for his fourth loss in five decisions after Quad-Cities pushed across the only run it needed in the bottom of a sixth inning that began with singles by Thomas Lindauer and Jamie Ritchie.
Mott Hyde followed with a ball that glanced off of Perdomo’s glove and was touched by shortstop Oscar Mercado and second baseman Darren Seferina who got tangled up and were unable to tag second base as Ritchie reached safely.
Derek Fisher flew out to shallow left-center, deep enough to score Lindauer with the game’s first run but not deep enough to prevent Ritchie from being thrown out at third base on the sixth outfield assist of the season by the Chiefs’ Magneuris Sierra.
Dykxhoorn allowed only one hit and struck out five batters in his four walk-free innings of relief, working around a two-out triple by Vaughn Bryan in the seventh.
“He was impressive,’’ Bonifay said. “He was pitching with good intensity, he hit his spots with his change-up and using his fastball well.’’
Improving to 3-2, Dykxhoorn’s success came in just his third relief role in eight outings this season.
“The mindset is a little different. The warm-up is different and when you come into a game out of the pen like that, you have to have your off-speed pitches working and attack it that way,’’ Dykxhoorn said. “Early on, you can go with your fastball more, but everything had to be there tonight and it was.’’
The River Bandits (33-10) added an insurance run in the eighth when Jacob Nottingham’s second double of the game scored Fisher, who had reached on a two-out single and advanced on an error as he stole second.
“That one run was big,’’ Dykxhoorn said. “Anytime you can go into the ninth inning up 2-0 with an extra run, it’s a whole different game.’’