PEORIA, IL - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers infielder Alfredo Rodriguez turned 23 on Sunday. Rattlers pitcher Damien Magnifico turned 22 last Friday. The pair of birthday boys helped Wisconsin beat the Peoria Chiefs 6-3 at Dozer Park on Sunday night.
The Timber Rattlers (22-23) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth inning. Max Walla drew a leadoff walk. Adam Giacalone and Alfredo Rodriguez singled with one out to put a Rattler on every base. Orlando Arcia hit a chopper to the second baseman. Peoria got the out at second, but could not double up Arcia. Walla scored on the play and the Rattlers led 1-0.
Walla drew a walk to start the top of the sixth inning. He stole second and took third on a throwing error. However, he was still at third base with two outs. Then, Rodriguez lined a home run to left and the Rattlers were up 3-0.
Magnifico, pitching for the first time since his birthday on May 24, finished his night with a scoreless sixth inning. The right-hander worked six shutout innings, allowed four hits, walked none, and struck out two.
The Rattlers padded their lead in the top of the seventh. Tyrone Taylor and Michael Reed singled to start the inning. Walla tripled to drive both runners in for a 5-0 lead. The Chiefs brought the infield in, but Victor Roache smacked a single to center to send Walla home for a 6-0 advantage.
Walla, in just his second game since joining the Rattlers from extended spring training, walked twice, scored three times, and drove in three runs over five plate appearances.
Peoria (24-23) got their bats going against Wisconsin reliever Leonard Lorenzo in the bottom of the seventh. They had runners at first and second with two outs and Adam Ehrlich singled down the left field line to knock in Peoria's first run of the night. Breyvic Valera followed with a single to load the bases with two outs.
Then, Ildemaro Vargas delivered a two-run single to cut Wisconsin's lead to 6-3.
But, Lorenzo got the final out of the seventh, pitched a scoreless eighth, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the season.
Rodriguez went 2-for-4 on the evening and extended his current hitting streak to nine games. He is 14-for-37 (.378) during the streak. Magnifico is now 5-0 on the season. He has not allowed an earned run eleven innings against the Chiefs this season.
The Timber Rattlers and Chiefs play the final game of the series on Monday afternoon. Austin Blaski (2-1, 1.95) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Peoria sends Hector Hernandez (2-1, 4.31) to the mound. Game time is 1:00pm. Tune in for the Miller Lite Pregame Show on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting at 12:40pm.
Alfredo Rodriguez (1st, 1 on in 6th inning off Joe Cuda, 2 out)
WP: Damien Magnifico (5-0)
LP: Joe Cuda (2-3)
SAVE: Leonard Lorenzo (2)