Result: The Quad Cities River Bandits stumbled Saturday for the third time in four road games, falling to a West Michigan comeback in a 7-4 setback in the opener of a Class A Midwest League three-game series.
How it happened: Cameron Lamb (1-1), QC's second pitcher of the night, failed to last an inning, surrendering four runs with two outs in the fifth. The Whitecaps rallied from a 4-3 deficit thanks to a walk, hit batter and three hits. Zach Kirksey followed a two-run single by Jake Stewart with a two-run triple to chase Lamb. The Bandits had surged ahead on their own rally from an early 2-0 deficit on the strength of three runs in the third and another in the fourth. Jesse Wierzbicki (2 RBIs in the third) andJoe Sclafani (RBI in the fourth) both doubled home runs for the Bandits.
On the mound: QC starterVincent Velasquez, the club's Pitcher of the Month for April, was not sharp, either. The unbeaten right-hander surrendered three runs in four innings of work, but exited with a 4-3 lead. West Michigan's relief corps also helped decide the game by shutting out the Bandits on one hit in the final four frames. Chad Smith, Angel Nesbitt and Jose Valdez (fifth save) were outstanding for the Detroit Tigers' affiliate.
At the plate: Besides the RBI double, Sclafani was the only player with two hits for the Houston Astros' affiliate.Jobduan Morales also had a double, an RBI and a run scored in an eight-hit Bandits attack. Wierzbicki's club-leading 24 RBIs is tied for third in the Midwest League.
Worth noting: The Bandits made a roster move Saturday, sending Friday's winning pitcher, right hander Brian Holmes, to extended spring training to make roster room to activate starting outfielder Ariel Ovando. ... QC pitching coach Dave Borkowski starred for West Michigan in 1997, throwing the franchise's first no-hitter, en route to a seven-season Major League career. ... Centerfielder Teoscar Hernandez was QC's Player of the Month for April.
Up next: The middle contest of QC's three-game set at West Michigan starts today at noon.