When Malik Collymore lofted a fly ball into center field with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday night it appeared the game was over. But not before there would be two more errors.
Quad Cities’ Logan Mattix dropped the easy out for an error, then threw wildly to first base as Collymore scrambled back. The throw went into the dugout for Mattix’s second error on the play and Collymore went to third. If he could score, the game would be tied.
But Alejo Lopez lofted a fly ball to right fielder Chandler Taylor. The ball stayed in his glove and a game that saw nine errors ended in a 4-3 Quad Cities victory. The Dragons have lost two straight and five of their past seven.
The normally sure-handed Dragons (9-12, 40-49) committed six errors, one shy of the team record set in the Dragons’ second season in 2001. The infield was responsible for all of them. Shortstop Jose Garcia had two errors on the same play. The others were by second baseman Jeter Downs, first baseman Leandro Santana, third baseman Alejo Lopez and pitcher Austin Orewiler.
“Lack of concentration is basically what it was,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “They were more mental errors than physical I would say. They weren’t prepared.”
The errors were surprising on a team without a backup infielder for most of the second half of the season. The Dragons had committed only 16 errors in their past 31 games and only 13 in the first 20 games of the second half.
Still, Garcia and Downs turned a slick double play in the first inning when Garcia made a diving stop behind second base and flipped to Downs covering second. Downs also made a leaping grab of a line drive in the eighth inning.
The River Bandits (11-9, 51-39) scored two unearned runs in the second inning and one in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Orewiler pitched 5 1/3 innings and Cory Thompson and Aneurys Zabala finished up.
“The pitching side did a really good job to control the damage,” Bolivar said.
The Dragons tied the score 3-3 in the sixth on Leandro Santana’s seventh home run, a two-run shot to left. But the Dragons finished with just four hits after a three-hit night Wednesday. The Dragons are 11th in the Midwest League in batting average at .242 and are batting .214 in their past 11 games.
“We have to hit the ball gap to gap,” Bolivar said. “We’re not big guys to try to hit home runs. They guys need to change their approach to drive the ball to all parts of the field.”
Quad Cities broke the tie in the eighth when the kind of hitting Bolivar wants to see more of. Alfredo Angarita went the other way for a double down the left-field line off Thompson to score Scott Schreiber from first.
Dragons tales: Dragons reliever John Ghyzel is day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s game with an inflamed biceps tendon. Ghyzel leads the league with 16 saves and has a 3.48 ERA in 31 innings. Thompson and Zabala figure to be used in save situations during Ghyzel’s absence.
•Dragons center fielder Lorenzo Cedrola had his four-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 night. He’s batting .281 in eight games since coming to the Dragons in a trade from Boston. He also has four stolen bases.