LANSING, Mich (WLMI) The Quad Cities River Bandits (12-8, 47-42) hit two home runs off starter Aaron Sanchezand scored six runs in the first two innings on their way to a 15-3 rout of the Lansing Lugnuts (11-9, 58-30) on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
It was the most runs the Lugnuts pitching staff has allowed in one game this season as well as the largest margin of defeat suffered by the Lugs this year.
Sanchez (Loss, 8-1) entered the game having allowed only five earned runs all season, but was battered for five runs in just 1 1/3 innings by the top run-scoring offense in the Midwest League.
Anthony Garcia broke the ice in the first inning with a two-run homer to left, the first home run served up by Sanchez in 2012. The second came leading off the second inning, a titanic blast by David Medina to right.
After a pair of walks sandwiched around a strikeout, Sanchez gave way to Kramer Champlin, who promptly surrendered a three-run homer to shortstop Matt Williams to put Quad Cities up 6-0.
It was the start of an outstanding night for Williams. The Bandits’ leadoff hitter tripled in the fifth inning, doubled in the sixth, and came to the plate in the eighth needing only a single to complete a reverse cycle. Instead, he doubled into the right field corner, eventually coming around to score his fourth run of the game.
River Bandits starter Hector Hernandez (Win, 6-5) turned in one of his best outing this season. He threw six innings, struck out four and walked none while allowing five hits and two runs.
The Lugnuts broke up Hernandez’s shutout bid in the sixth inning with three consecutive extra base hits. Kenny Wilson (2-for-4, two doubles) laced a leadoff double. Carlos Perez drove him in with an RBI triple and scored on Chris Hawkins’ double.
The River Bandits tacked on four runs against Bryan Longpre who tossed three innings and allowed six hits.
Aleson Escalante allowed one run in the ninth inning, the fifth home run of the year for Bandits first baseman Roberto De La Cruz.
The rubber match of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday, July 13th. Blake McFarland (4-2, 4.53) will make his first start for the Lugnuts opposed by River Bandits lefty Kyle Hald (4-4, 3.14). Friday night is a Christian Family Night presented by 88.1 Smile FM. After the game, there will be LAFCU Fireworks. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.lansinglugnuts.com, at the stadium box office, and by calling 517-485-4500.