Quad Cities River Bandits center fielder Teoscar Hernandez homered leading off the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie, and first baseman Jonathan Singleton added his second home run in as many games, leading the home team to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Kane County Cougars Wednesday night in front of 1,753 at Modern Woodmen Park.
The River Bandits (29-23) matched a season high with their fifth straight win to close within three games of first-place Cedar Rapids and remain two games behind second-place Beloit. Quad Cities improved to 7-2 against Kane County (24-27) this season.
Right-hander Mike Hauschild retired the first 10 Cougars he faced before issuing a walk to second baseman Gioskar Amaya in the fourth inning. The former University of Dayton Flyer came within one out of his second start this season of five innings without allowing a hit, but he allowed a two-out single by catcher Carlos Escobar and a walk to right fielder Reggie Golden for the Cougars' biggest threat in the first five innings. Hauschild retired shortstop David Bote on a groundout to end five shutout innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
Left-hander Colton Cain (2-5) started the sixth inning for Quad Cities and worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless frame. In the bottom of the sixth, Hernandez led off against right-hander Pierce Johnson (3-4) with his third home run of the season on a 3-2 pitch that exited the field of play in left-center field. After Johnson turned away the next two batters, Kane County manager Mark Johnson went to his bullpen to bring in right-hander Justin Amlung. Johnson finished 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and one walk while striking out seven batters in his third start against Quad Cities this season.
Singleton greeted Amlung belted a two-strike pitch to the DHCU On Deck in right-center field for his second home run in as many games this season. The top-rated prospect in the Astros system, according to MLB.com, hit a solo home run in his first at-bat with Quad Cities in the series opener Tuesday night. Singleton doubled in the eighth inning to finish with a second straight two-hit game.
The two home runs were enough, as Cain worked around a singles in the seventh and eighth innings to finish three shutout frames. Right-hander John Neely started the ninth inning by striking out the first two batters but allowed an infield single by designated hitter Marco Hernandez, who reached second base when third baseman Rio Ruiz threw past first base. Escobar drove in Hernandez with a single to right field, but Neely got Golden to hit a one-hopper back to the mound for the final out.
River Bandits right-hander Jordan Jankowski (3-0) will take the mound against Cougars right-hander Jose Rosario (0-0) in the series finale Thursday night at Modern Woodmen Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.