CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The three-game winning streak that the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers brought into their Independence Day game against the Cedar Rapids Kernels was halted by a pair of home runs and solid pitching. Wisconsin dropped their seventh straight game to Cedar Rapids with Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Kernels at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Milwaukee native Adam Brett Walker put the Kernels (52-30 overall, 12-2 second half) up in the bottom of the second inning. Max Kepler has just been hit by a pitch and Walker was ahead 1-0 in the count. Walker lined a home run to left-center on the next pitch to give Cedar Rapids a 2-0 lead.
Alfredo Rodriguez singled to lead off the Wisconsin fourth inning for the Rattlers first hit of the game. Michael Reed drew a walk to put two runners on base. But, Montanez retired the next three batters of the inning to keep the Kernels up 2-0.
Rodriguez started another attempted rally in the top of the sixth for the Rattlers (34-45, 5-9). He singled with one out. Reed followed with a single and Tyrone Taylor walked to load the bases. Montanez struck out Victor Roach for the second out and left the game for Alex Murin to face Mike Garza. Murin got Garza to line out to right to end the inning.
Wisconsin did break through on the scoreboard in the seventh. Parker Berberet singled and Chris McFarland drew a walk. Tyler Roberts bunted the runners into scoring position. Max Walla's grounder to first got Berberet to score.
The Kernels used the longball to pad their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Dalton Hicks cracked a two-out solo home run to center off Preston Gainey and the Kernels were up 3-1.
Milwaukee native Tyler Jones, who had pitched a scoreless eighth, tossed a 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of strikeouts to earn his sixth save of the season,.
The final game of the two game series is Friday night in Cedar Rapids. Leonard Lorenzo (1-4, 5.73) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Kernels have Brett Lee (5-4, 3.89) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 6:35pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm.
Adam Brett Walker (13th, 1 on in 2nd inning off Ryan Gibbard, 1 out)
Dalton Hicks (13th, 0 on in 8th inning off Preston Gainey, 2 out)
WP: Josue Montanez (3-1)
LP: Ryan Gibbard (3-2)
SAVE: Tyler Jones (6)