The Kane County Cougars scored 3 runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to treating 11,304 fans to a 7-4 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
After Kevin Encarnacion walked and Albert Almora was hit by a pitch in the first, Dan Vogelbach knocked home both runners with a double to give the Cougars (33-47, 3-11) a 2-0 lead. Vogelbach scored on an infield hit by Marco Hernandez.
In the fourth after Encarnacion singled and Almora was hit by another pitch. Vogelbach knocked home Encarnacion with a single and Jeimer Candelario singled to score Almora and give the Cougars a 5-1 advantage.
Reliever Nathan Dorris (3-3) earned the win and Dillon Maples notched a save.
The Cougars' Gioskar Amaya belted a home run and Reggie Golden doubled and scored.
The Cougars and River Bandits play the second of their five-game series today at 6:30 p.m. Left-hander Brian Smith (2-3) starts for the Cougars against righty Jordan Jankowski (3-1).