The River Bandits started the scoring in the bottom of the second thanks to a long solo homer by Morales, his team-high eighth of the year. Charlie Cutler added a run-scoring single in the third to push the lead to 2-0, while his leadoff double in the sixth started a two-run rally that doubled the advantage to 4-0.
Kevin Thomas (3-3) controlled the tempo on the mound, twirling 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball while limiting the Cougars to just three hits. The sinkerballer struck out three and walked two, lowering his ERA to 3.54 and earning the win with the stifling performance.
The Quad Cities lead was 4-1 in the ninth when Kane County made things interesting. Closer Dave Carpenter retired the first two men he faced without incident, but put the next four men on base with three walks and a hit batsman as the advantage shrunk to 4-2.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Frevert was called in from the bullpen to face leadoff hitter David Thomas with the game on the line. On a 2-1 pitch, Thomas blasted a long fly ball to deep right field that soared to the warning track before falling into the glove of Jon Edwards for the final out of the game.
While Frevert earned his first save of the year for the River Bandits, Anthony Capra (2-5) was dealt the loss for the Cougars after yielding four runs on six hits over six innings.
The Quad Cities win also featured the professional debut of Jason Stidham, an eighth-round pick out of Florida State who became the first 2009 Cardinals' draftee to reach the Midwest League. The 21-year-old infielder went 2-for-4, doubling during his first pro at-bat in the second inning before picking up an RBI with a single in the sixth.