Rivera, who hit a three-run, walkoff home run in the bottom of the tenth in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Snapper, picked up on Monday where he left off on Sunday. He tripled to drive in Brandon Macias from first base in his first at bat on Monday. One out later, Nick Ramirez drove in Rivera with a single to left for a 2-0 lead.
Beloit (36-28) stormed back to take the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Rattlers starting pitcher David Goforth walked in the first two runs of the inning. Goforth got the second out of the inning, but gave up a grand slam to Miguel Sano and the Snappers went up 6-2. The home run was the fifteenth of the season for Sano, who leads the league in homers and RBI (49).
Cameron Garfield started Wisconsin's comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run home run to left field. That cut Beloit's lead to two runs.
But, Jhon Goncalves hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh inning and made the score 7-4.
The Rattlers (41-23) came right back after the seventh inning stretch. Garfield singled with one out and John Dishon drew a walk against Beloit reliever AJ Achter. Achter got the second out of the inning with a strikeout, but he couldn't get the third out before the Rattlers tied the game. Macias lifted a high fly to left on a 2-1 pitch from Achter. The ball carried over the wall for a three-run homer to tie the game 7-7.
Beloit had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Chad Pierce walked Eddie Rosario with one out and Wisconsin called for closer Seth Harvey to come out of the bullpen. Harvey threw a wild pitch with Drew Leachman at the plate and Rosario took second base. The Rattlers decided to walk Leachman intentionally to bring Sano to the plate.
The strategy worked perfectly as Harvey got Sano to ground into an inning ending 1-6-3 double play to keep the game tied 7-7.
Dishon started the winning rally in the bottom of the ninth. He reached on a bunt single and took second on a wild throw by pitcher Corey Williams. Beloit got the first out on a strikeout to keep Dishon at second base. Then, they elected to walk Macias to set up the double play possibility with Rivera at short.
The strategy backfired on Beloit. Rivera smacked the first pitch from Williams past shortstop Tyler Grimes, who made a diving stab at the ball. The ball rolled into the left-centerfield gap as Dishon raced home with the winning run.
Monday was the last home game of the first half for the Rattlers. Wisconsin improved their home record to 25-10 on the season. Monday was also the seventh walkoff win of the season for the team.
Wisconsin clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2005 on Sunday. The win on Monday lowered their magic number to win the first half Western Division title to one. A Timber Rattlers win or a Beloit Snappers loss over the final six games of the half gives the Rattlers the division title.
Wisconsin ends the first half of the season with a six game road trip that starts Tuesday night in Clinton. Will West (1-1, 7.63) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The LumberKings have Brent Shankin (1-2, 3.71) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 7:00pm.
Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280,WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
Miguel Sano (15th, grand slam in 6th inning off David Goforth, 2 out)
Jhon Goncalves (2nd, none on in 7th inning off Chad Pierce, 0 out)
Cameron Garfield (1st, 1 on in 5th inning off Jason Wheeler, 0 out)
Brandon Macias (3rd, 2 on in 7th inning off AJ Achter, 2 out)
WP: Seth Harvey (4-0)
LP: Corey Williams (2-2)