Stiven Osuna has been dominant since returning to the starting rotation after a mid-season demotion winning hi last five starts, struck out 10 against no walks and one hit.
“He was able to throw his changeup in fastball counts,” said his catcher Robert Lara. “When he went to the bullpen he straightened out his mechanical problems, getting his fastball to go downhill and now he’s really tough.”
Designated hitter Yefri Carvajal, adhering to his mantra to lay off the breaking ball, smashed a triple past the right fielder to lead off the fourth inning.
“I think I have been hitting the ball very well and am just trying to not chase the breaking ball,” said Carvajal. “I’m just trying to wait on the fastball.”
Dan Robertson then hit a soft liner to right-center to bring home the first run of the game.
In the sixth, the TinCaps repeated the same scenario as Carvajal, who was 2-for-4 in the night, hit a scorching line drive to left that seemingly never rose move than five feet above the ground and nearly took out the left fielder’s knee cap as the ball rolled past him allowing Carvajal to advance to second.
A wild pitch moved him to third and Robertson came through in another RBI situation bringing the runner home with a hard double down the third base line. As in the first at-bat, Robertson worked the count, waiting for the proverbial “good pitch to hit.”
“I’m aggressive but understanding the Padres’ approach of if you are stubborn enough in waiting for your pitch you are going to get it more often than not,” said Robertson.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with runners on second and third, the River Bandits attempted to intentionally walk center fielder Blake Tekotte to load the bases. Unfortunately for Quad Cities the fourth pitch never got there as the pitcher threw over the catcher’s head for a wild pitch to score Robertson, who led off the inning with a single.
An error on a fielder’s choice hit by shortstop Drew Cumberland, allowed Lara to score, who had doubled earlier.
“Right now this is just a very fun team to coach,” said a smiling Gary Jones, the interim manager, in the loud and festive locker room after the game. “There are just so many things this team does well.”