Left-hander Anthony Fernandez struck out a career-high 10 batters over five innings and the Clinton bats scratched out three runs against Quad Cities' right-hander Boone Whiting as the LumberKings defeated the River Bandits, 5-2 on Friday.
Anthony Phillips went 3-for-4 including the game-winning infield single in the fourth inning, helping the Kings to a series victory.
The LumberKings scored twice on Whiting in the second inning as Kevin Rivers reached on a two-out single to right and scored on a Kalian Sams' double just beyond the reach of right-fielder Edgar Lara. John Hicks added a single into left, scoring Sams from second.
Fernandez (6-3) struck out eight of the first 13 batters he faced, but encountered sudden control issues with two outs in the fourth. He allowed a single to Cody Stanley, walked Lara, yielded an RBI double to Geoff Klein and then walked both Colin Walsh and Packy Elkins, forcing in the tying run. Fernandez recovered to end the inning, stranding the bases loaded as he got Ronny Gil to fly out to center field.
With the game tied 2-2, the Kings scored a run to retake the lead. Mickey Wiswall greeted Whiting with a line single into right and took second base on a one-out walk to Sams. After Hicks struck out, Anthony Phillips sent a slow chopper up the third base line that Elkins charged and gathered. However, Phillips beat the throw to first and Wiswall snuck home from second on the play, just making it in ahead of a throw to the plate by the first-baseman Klein.
That run stood up thanks to the bullpen. Right-hander Jessie Nava stranded runners at the corners with a strikeout of Gil in the sixth, then exited with runners at first and second and one out in the seventh. Left-hander Ryan Kiel struck out Cody Stanley and induced Lara into a threat-ending fly-out to right, stranding the inherited runners.
Right-hander Jonathan Arias retired all six batters he faced to earn his eighth save and second in as many nights against the Bandits. He received insurance runs in the late innings as Robbie Anston singled and scored on Mike McGee's fielder's choice in the seventh and Sams lifted an opposite-field solo home run in the eighth.
Whiting (3-2) took the loss with three runs on eight hits over five innings. Right-hander Drew Benes gave up two runs on three hits over the final three innings for the Bandits.
Sams finished 2-for-3 with a double and his team-lead-tying 15th home run, driving in two for Clinton.
The LumberKings (29-24) now host Kane County (31-21) for a four-game series beginning tonight at Alliant Energy Field, first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Left-hander Roenis Elias (2-0, 2.89) gets the starting nod for Clinton against Cougars' right-hander Leondy Perez (6-11, 3.35).