Unlucky Seven - Quad Cities Falters Late

The Quad Cities River Bandits held a lead for seven and a half innings on Saturday night, only to watch the Lansing Lugnuts rally for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to sneak out a 5-4 win at Oldsmobile Park.

The heartbreaking loss extended Quad Cities' (22-26) losing streak to seven, as 10 losses in their last 11 games have seen the River Bandits drop four games below the .500 mark for the first time since opening the season 0-4. Meanwhile, Lansing's (17-30) comeback thriller led to their first three-game home winning streak of the year.

Quad Cities got a two-run double from Osvaldo Morales in the opening frame and led 4-1 at the halfway point. Lansing pulled to within 4-3 on Brian Van Kirk's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, and that score remained into the eighth inning.

Tyler Pastornicky, the Lugnuts speedy leadoff hitter, started the eighth-inning rally with a single to right and moved to second on a groundout. Van Kirk followed with a high fly ball to left that appeared to be a harmless second out off the bat, but Jairo Martinez got turned around as he chased back and the ball bounced over his head. Pastornicky came around to score the game-tying run on the double, while Van Kirk ended up at third base after the throw to the plate. One batter later, Yohermyn Chave drove a sacrifice fly to center that plated pinch-runner Markus Brisker for a 5-4 lead, Lansing's first of the game.

Matt Daly (7) came in for the ninth inning and worked around a one-out single by Charlie Cutler to strike out the side for the save. That wrapped up a win for Yorman Mayora (3-1), who struck out the side during a perfect eighth inning. The two Lugnuts relievers were among five Lansing hurlers that combined for 15 strikeouts, holding the River Bandits to just one hit over the final four innings.

Arquimedes Nieto (1-4) was charged with the blown save as well as the loss, allowing two runs on three hits over three innings of work. That followed a solid start by Scott McGregor, who struck out five without issuing a walk over the first five frames. He had allowed just one run before giving up a two-run single to Van Kirk in the fifth, the last batter he faced.

Determined to break out of their extended slump, the River Bandits came out swinging in the top of the first.

Alex Castellanos ripped the first pitch he saw up the middle for a one-out single and Cutler followed with a hit-and-run single to right that put men at the corners. On the very next pitch, Morales plated both baserunners with a double into the left-center field gap that gave Quad Cities an early 2-0 advantage.

Brett Lilley made it a 3-0 game in the fourth when his double down the right field line scored Frederick Parejo. One inning later, there were men at the corners when Niko Vasquez reached on an error and Jarred Bogany scored to put Quad Cities ahead, 4-1.

But for the second straight night, the River Bandits were quiet offensively over the final four frames as the Lugnuts rallied for a late win.

UP NEXT: The River Bandits continue a 10-game road stretch with a 1:05 CT first pitch on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts. Quad Cities returns to Modern Woodmen Park on June 6 to kick off an eight-game homestand, the last of the first half.

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