The hit-or-miss offense that has defined the Quad Cities River Bandits four weeks into the season was the featured attraction on Thursday night.
For the Bandits, it was a big miss.
Missed opportunities provided the main culprit, but QC compounded the miscues with 11 strikeouts. The strikeout total, six hits and nine runners left on base told the story in the Bandits' 6-2 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts at Modern Woodmen Park.
QC (11-7) now has split its six home games this season.
"I don't say much on the pitching side because we still have to score some runs," Bandits manager Omar Lopez said. "When you don't score runs, we're going to magnify the rest of the game — pitching and defense. You've got to play very clean and pitch perfect to stay (close). ... We still don't have offense. We didn't do anything."
Neither the offense nor pitching were overly effective in the Bandits' second consecutive loss. The offense was particularly inconsistent, scoring its first run in an inning where it did not have a hit.
Ryan Dineen's one-out strikeout in the fifth resulted in him being safe at first on a wild pitch. He then stole second, advanced to third after an error on the throw and scored on another wild pitch to tie the game.
Lansing (7-10) regained the lead on Chris Hawkins' solo home run in the seventh. One inning later, the Lugnuts used four doubles to add four insurance tallies. QC capped the scoring on Dineen's run-scoring single in the ninth.
All that added up to QC's fourth consecutive home game of three runs or less. The Bandits have scored more than three runs at Modern Woodmen Park once this season.
Away from home, the Bandits average nearly three runs more per game.
"At this level, you're going to see that inconsistency," Lopez said.
Despite the relief trio of Brian Holmes, Michael Dimock and Cameron Lamb allowing five earned runs in four innings, Lopez pointed the finger toward the offense. Five innings saw the Bandits strike out at least twice.
The fourth and eighth were the only innings they did not have a strikeout. Another meager offensive performance came from Lansing starter Roberto Osuna stifling the Bandits' bats.
"He set the tone in our offense," Lopez said. "We tried as best as we can when he gave us a chance. He made good pitches in certain counts that was tough for our hitters. Sometimes, you've got to tip your hat to the starting pitcher."
Extra bases: Prior to the game, the Bandits made four roster moves. Infielder Chase Davidson and pitcher Colton Cain were sent to extended spring training, with Dineen and infielder Miles Hamblin joining the active roster. Lopez said Davidson is dealing with a shoulder issue and Cain will remain in the Quad-Cities to work in the bullpen before rejoining the roster for his next scheduled appearance. ... Moline grad Dakota Bacus earned his second victory in as many decisions on Thursday. Bacus allowed three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in Beloit's 7-4 win over South Bend. ... The series opener drew 1,545 patrons.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2013. There are 27 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Within a few weeks the Rock Island Barracks will contain more than 10,000 rebel prisoners, a guard of about 1,500 and a large number of officers. This should bring business to our city. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Corn was selling at 25 cents per bushel in Rock Island county, and the average price of wheat was 80 cents per bushel. 1913 -- 100 years ago: R.G. Hudson and R.H. Dart were elected wardens at Trinity Episcopal Church. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Smiling, baldish, 30-year-old Jimmy Roosevelt reported for work today as movie maker Sam Goldwyn's new hired hand. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Members of the East Moline City Council last night unanimously voted approval of the name of John F. Kennedy Drive for the improved sections of 3rd and 4th streets between 17th Avenue and the south city limits. 1988 -- 25 years ago: A $70,000 fundraising drive is underway to establish a Big Brother/Big Sisters program in the Quad-Cities. Organizers hope to raise funds to begin the nationally affiliated program by March 1.