GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Clinton LumberKings sent the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their fifth straight loss with a 10-5 decision at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Saturday Night. The LumberKings slugged 15 hits, including seven for extra bases, and pounced on every Wisconsin miscue to build an early lead on the way to victory.
The game did not start well for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (24-35). Jabari Henry doubled on the second pitch of the game. Adam Giacalone ranged far to his right to attempt to flag down Ketel Marte's grounder to the right side of the infield. Chris McFarland, Wisconsin's second baseman, fielded the ball easily. But, his throw was behind Jorge Lopez, the pitcher racing to cover first base. Henry scored and Marte wound up at second base. Lopez walked the next batter on four pitches.
Taylor Ard was next and he sent a grounder to Mike Garza near the bag at third. Garza touched third for the force and threw to first for the double play. But, Giacalone missed the ball at first and there were runners at the corners with one out.
Lopez got Guillermo Pimentel, the next Clinton hitter, to hit a sharp grounder to short for another potential double play. But, this ball went through the legs of Orlando Arcia to let a run score and the inning to continue.
Tyler Marlette singled to right to drive in Ard and send Pimentel to third base. Janelfry Zorilla capped the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to center and Clinton led 4-0 before the Rattlers got to hit.
Clinton (30-31) added to their lead in the top of the second. Jordy Lara doubled to start the inning. Henry doubled with one out to send Lara home for a 5-0 lead.
Giacalone drew a walk in the bottom of the fourth. Mike Garza followed with a line drive home run to left and the Rattlers were down 5-2.
Lopez went six innings and only two of the five runs against him were earned. He didn't give up any runs after the second inning, allowed seven hits, walked two, and struck out four. He was charged with the loss.
Clinton pulled away in the seventh and eighth innings against reliever Ryan Gibbard. The LumberKings had two outs and none on in the seventh. Ketel Marte bunted for a hit and stole second. Dario Pizzano drew a walk, his third of the game. Ard and Pimentel had back-to-back RBI singles to drive in Marte and Pizzano for a 7-2 lead. In the eighth, Zorilla doubled and Lara followed with an RBI double. Marte had a sacrifice fly later in the inning to knock in Lara for a 9-5 lead.
Wisconsin scrapped for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Grady Wood. They loaded the bases on singles by Giacalone and Garza and a walk to Parker Berberet. Chris McFarland grounded into a force play at second to score Giacalone. There were still two outs and runners on the corners when Tim Lopes dropped a popup off the bat off Arcia. That let Garza score and McFarland get to third. Wood would commit a balk to send McFarland home to make the score 9-5.
But, Clinton tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth. Ard doubled to start the inning. Zorilla singled with two outs to drive in Ard to account for the final run of the game.
Giacalone went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games. Tyrone Taylor tripled in the game and moved his hitting streak to seven games. Garza also has a seven game hitting streak for the Timber Rattlers.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. Eric Semmelhack (1-2, 3.48) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Charles Kaalekahi is scheduled to make his Midwest League debut for the LumberKings as their starting pitcher. Game time is 1:05pm.
The first 1,000 fans to attend the game will receive a rally towel from Kagen Allergy Clinic.
Sunday is also a Brewers Sunday with 107.5, The Fan. Timber Rattlers players will wear Brewers-themed jerseys during the game. There is also catch on the field for fans before the game and a postgame autograph session with the players.
Subscribers to Time Warner Cable may bring in their cable bill and receive up to four half-price reserved bleacher seats for the game.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, tune in for the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. Sunday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Mike Garza (2nd, 1 on in 4th inning off Scott DeCecco, 1 out)
WP: Scott DeCecco (5-5)
LP: Jorge Lopez (2-5)