DAVENPORT, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers gave Jorge Lopez a big early lead and the right-hander ran with it. Lopez struck out seven and walked five over six no-hit innings to lead the Timber Rattlers to a 7-4 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park.
Wisconsin (21-21) jumped to an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Alfredo Rodriguez drew a walk to start the game and Michael Reed reached on an error. Tyrone Taylor lined a double to left that scored Rodriguez and sent Reed to third. Later in the inning, Adam Giacalone drove in Reed with a sacrifice fly to left
The Timber Rattlers padded their lead with four runs in the top of the third inning. Rodriguez started the inning with a single. Reed, who tripled three times in Wednesday's game, tripled to right-center to drive in Rodriguez. Victor Roache made it 4-0 with an RBI double. Giacalone was next and his RBI single scored Roache. Later in the frame, Chris McFarland doubled to drive in Giacalone for a 6-0 advantage.
Roache made it 7-0 with a tape-measure home run down the left field line to lead off the Rattlers fifth inning. The home run was the fifth of the year for the slugging left fielder.
Lopez was wild at times as the five walks and two wild pitches that he was charged with happened in the first four innings, but he settled in to retire the final eleven of the final twelve batters he faced.
The bid for Wisconsin's third combined no-hitter since 2010 ended with the first batter in the bottom of the seventh inning. Terrell Joyce greeted Ryan Gibbard to the mound with a home run to right-center field. A walk to Rio Ruiz was followed by an RBI double hit by Ariel Ovando made the score 7-2. The Bandits had runners at the corners with one out, but Gibbard escaped the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
Quad Cities (23-22) put the first two batters on in the bottom of the eighth on a walk and a single. Gibbard struck out the next two batters, but walked Ovando on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Roberto Peña was next and he doubled to left to drive in two runs. That made the score 7-4 and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Austin Elkins, who had homered in Wednesday's game against Wisconsin. But, Gibbard got Elkins to fly out to center to end the inning.
Rodolfo Fernandez took over in the bottom of the ninth inning and worked a 1-2-3 frame to close out the game and earn his second save of the season.
The Timber Rattlers conclude their three game series with the River Bandits on Friday at Modern Woodmen Park. Preston Gainey (1-4, 6.66) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Quad Cities sends Lance McCullers (0-4, 1.72) to the hill. 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.
Victor Roache (5th, 0 on in 5th inning off Gera Sanchez, 0 out)
Terrell Joyce (2nd, 0 on in 7th inning off Ryan Gibbard, 0 out)
WP: Jorge Lopez (1-3)
LP: Jamaine Cotton (0-1)
SAVE: Rodolfo Fernandez (2)