DAVENPORT, IA - The Peoria Chiefs had leads of 3-0 and 6-4 but five errors cost them a victory Saturday night as the Quad Cities River Bandits escaped with an 8-6 victory. The loss drops the Chiefs to 4-4 on the young season with the rubber match of the three-game series set for Sunday afternoon.
The Chiefs got things going in the top of the second against Bandits starter Jordan Jankowski. With one out, Walton lined a single off Jankowski's leg and after attention from the Quad Cities medical staff and a couple practice tosses, the righty stayed in the game. Alex Mejia singled and former River Bandit Nick Martini put the Chiefs on top 1-0 with a single to right. Geoff Klein, who played in Quad Cities in 2011, delivered his first hit and RBI as a Chief with a single to right. With two outs Michael Swinson, another former River Bandit, singled home Martini for a 3-0 Chiefs lead.
Quad Cities didn't get a hit in the first two innings but got to Dail Villanueva in the third. Jordan Scott led off with a walk and an error by Villanueva allowed Carlos Perdomo to reach. Teoscar Hernandez reached on an infield single to load the bases and Joe Sclafani put the hosts on the board with a sacrifice fly to right. Jesse Wierzbicki tied the game at three with a two-run triple into the Chiefs bullpen before Villanueva walked Terrell Joyce. Rio Ruiz put the Bandits on top 4-3 with a fielders' choice groundout to first as Villanueva didn't get to the bag in time to complete a double play.
The Chiefs left the bases loaded in the fourth and were still down 4-3 when Brian Holmes took over on the mound for Quad Cities in the sixth inning. Holmes hit Mejia with the first pitch and after a one-out wild pitch hit Klein as well. With the runners going on a full-count pitch, Ildemaro Vargas doubled to left-center to score both runners for a 5-4 Chiefs lead. After a strikeout, Breyvic Valera delivered his team-leading fifth RBI of the season with a triple into right to put the Chiefs on top 6-4.
Quad Cities came right back against Chiefs reliever Jhonny Polanco. A leadoff walk put Jobduan Morales on base and with one out Scott singled to left as both runners moved up one base when Valera bobbled the ball in the outfield. A passed ball scored Morales to cut the lead to 6-5 and Polanco's night ended after a walk to Perdomo. Zach Petrick got Ryan Dineen to hit a comebacker but the attempt at a double play fell short as Dineen beat the throw to first with Scott scoring the tying run. Sclafani singled to put runners at first and second for Wierzbicki. Petrick struck out Wierzbicki on a pitch in the dirt but Klein's throw to first was off the mark allowing Dineen to score all the way from second with the go-ahead run.
The Chiefs went in order in the seventh and eighth down a run. Quad Cities added an insurance run in the eighth against Petrick. Perdomo reached on a one-out single and was off and running as Dineen struck out swinging. Perdomo stole second and as Klein's throw skipped into center he took off for third. The throw from Martini in center field hit Perdomo as he slid into third and bounced away from Patrick Wisdom. Perdomo popped up and beat the throw home for an 8-6 Bandits lead before the Chiefs were retired in order in the ninth.
Villanueva allowed four runs, two earned, on three hits over three innings in a no-decision. He walked three and struck out one. Polanco (0-1) allowed three runs, one earned, over 2 1/3 innings while walking two and hitting one. Petrick allowed one unearned run on three hits over 2 2/3 innings with six strikeouts.