RIVER BANDITS 10, BEES 2: One pitch turns into a long night

DAVENPORT — The best part of Jack Howell’s night came before the game.

The Burlington Bees manager took the lineup card out to the pre-game meeting at home plate, while the Quad Cities River Bandits card was delivered by … a robot.

It was Navy Night at Modern Woodmen Park, and the robot was part of the military show.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” Howell said.

The first inning was pretty cool, with the Bees taking a 1-0 lead.

Then Bees starting pitcher Robinson Pina came out, and his first pitch to Ross Adolph was a ball.

And that was only the beginning.

Pina didn’t make it out of the first inning, allowing five runs as Quad Cities roared to a 10-2 win in Thursday’s Class A Midwest League game.

The Bees fell to 2-5 in the second half after a game that got out of hand not long after the first pitch left Pina’s hand.

“We get a run, and you want to go out and get off to a good start,” Howell said. “The first pitch right away is a ball, and then he walks the guy.”

Adolph walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Oscar Campos’ single.

After Cesar Salazar walked to load the bases, David Hensley cleared them with a double to left field, and the River Bandits led 4-0.

Jonathan Lacroix’s RBI single ended Pina’s night.

Pina (4-3) threw 31 pitches, only 14 for strikes.

“He’s been so good for us all season,” Howell said of Pina, who was one of the Bees’ three representatives for the Midwest League All-Star Game. “Everyone has nights like this.”

Austin Krzeminski ended the first inning with a one-pitch out, but he gave up two more runs in the second inning to give Quad Cities a 7-2 lead.

The Bees had just four hits — three in the first two innings, including a run-scoring single and a run-scoring double from Kevin Maitan — but didn’t have a hit after the fourth inning.

The Bees’ pitching highlight of the night came from Dylan King, who joined the team on Wednesday. King, an 18th-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in last year’s Major League Baseball draft, didn’t allow a hit in three innings, walking two and striking out four.

Felipe Tejada (3-0) was the winning pitcher.

ON DECK: The two teams conclude their four-game home-and-home series with Friday’s 6:30 p.m. game. Bees starting pitcher Cole Duensing (5-3, 4.32 ERA) will face Quad Cities’ Jonathan Bermudez (1-0, 3.97).

NOTES: The season series between the two teams is tied at 5. No team has a winning series record against Quad Cities (47-25) this season. … Lacroix went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Lacroix is batting .404 in 16 games over two seasons against the Bees. … Hensley went 4-for-5 and drove in four runs. Hensley is batting .292 and driven in six runs against the Bees this season.

Photo: A robot brought out the lineup card during the pre-game meeting.

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