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MWL: Bandits go back to back to beat Kernels
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The Quad Cities River Bandits hit back to back home runs in the sixth inning to come from behind and down the Kernels 5-2 at Modern Woodmen Park on Saturday night. The Kernels have now lost four games in a row as they travel to Beloit for the first time this season. The Kernels are now five games below the .500 mark for the first time in 2014.
The Kernels (22-27) led 2-1 through five innings of play, but the River Bandits tallied four runs in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead. With two on and one away in the inning, Conrad Gregor drilled a three-run home run to right-center to put Quad Cities in front by a pair of runs. It was Gregors first home run of the season and scored Jack Mayfield and Brett Phillips, who had singled and walked, respectively. Next batter, Tyler White hit a towering home run that got over the wall in left field to extend the River Bandits lead to 5-2. It was Whites second blast of the season.
Ethan Mildren (0-3) took the loss on the mound for the Kernels. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits while striking out one and walking two. Mildren sailed through the first five innings - allowing just one unearned run on two hits before running into trouble in the sixth inning.
The River Bandits (24-23) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with an unearned run. James Ramsay drew a leadoff walk and quickly scored before the result of the next at-bat. Ramsay went to third base on a throwing error by Mildren on a pickoff attempt. Then, a passed ball by catcher Michael Quesada allowed Ramsay to come across and score. Mildren retired the hitter Mayfield and went on to send the next eight batters down in order before the River Bandits picked up their first hit with two outs in the third inning.
The Kernels scored their two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. Jason Kanzler singled into center, and Bo Altobelli was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. A groundout moved both into scoring position and allowed Kanzler to tie the game 1-1 on a RBI infield single by Engelb Vielma. Ryan Walkers RBI groundout that deflected off the pitcher Jandel Gustave brought in Altobelli and gave the Kernels the lead.
Gustave (4-2) went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits for the win. He struck out eight and walked two. Andrew Walter went the final 2 1/3 innings for his fourth save of the season. Walter allowed just one hit while striking out one and walking none.
Brandon Bixler went 1 2/3 innings in relief for the Kernels, allowing no runs on one hit. He struck out one and walked none. Hudson Boyd added a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a pop out and two ground outs.
The Kernels now travel to Beloit, opening up a three-game series at Pohlman Field at Sunday at 4:00 p.m. LHP Josue Montanez (1-2, 8.13) gets the start for the Kernels while RHP Lou Trivino (3-3, 3.72) makes the start for Beloit.
The Kernels return home on Wednesday, May 28 v. Wisconsin at 6:35 p.m. Its Free Money Wednesday, presented by First Federal Credit Union. $500 will be given out by at the main gates to fans age 18 and older, with the top cash prize of $100.