GENEVA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers could not shake the Kane County Cougars on Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark and it cost them. Jeimer Candelario and Rock Shoulders hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead Kane County to a 6-3 comeback win.
Wisconsin (44-59 overall, 15-23 second half) got on the scoreboard first. Orlando Arcia started the third inning with a single. Alfredo Rodriguez was next and he chopped a single through the right side of the infield. Arcia rounded second, but was going back to the bag when right fielder Reggie Golden overran the ball. Arcia took off for third and Golden's throw to third wound up in the stands. The two errors by Golden on the play allowed Arcia to score and Rodriguez to end up at third base. Lance Roenicke got Rodriguez home from third with a grounder to short for a 2-0 lead.
Rattlers starting pitcher Tyler Wagner went out for the bottom of the third inning and struck out the side in order on nine pitches. Wagner allowed one hit and struck out seven through his first five innings. But Kane County got to him in the sixth.
Gioskar Amaya started the inning with a double and an error on the play let him take third base. Albert Almora drive in Amaya with a grounder to short. Dan Vogelbach and Candelario singled to set up Shoulders. The Kane County first baseman blooped a single fair down the line in left to score Vogelbach with the tying run.
The teams traded runs in the seventh inning. Arcia singled to start the top of the inning and was on the run when Rodriguez sent a slow roller towards short. Candelario, the third baseman, cut the ball off and threw to first for the out on Rodriguez. Arcia saw that no one was covering third and took off for the extra base. Hernandez, the shortstop, raced to cover and was there to take the throw from Shoulders. But Hernandez missed the ball and Arcia scampered home for the run to put the Rattlers up 3-2.
Kane County (42-61, 12-25) responded in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Harvey Martin. Willson Contreras singled to start the frame. He stole second and went to third on a throwing error with one out and Amaya at the plate. The Timber Rattlers brought the infield in to cut down the run at the plate. Martin got Amaya to send a grounder to short, but the ball was bobbled to let Contreras score the tying run.
Martin walked Vogelbach to start the bottom of the eighth. Candelario followed with a two-run home run to right to put Kane County up 5-3. Shoulders was next and he launched his seventeenth home run of the season. The back-to-back blasts put Kane County up 6-3.
Chris McFarland singled with one out in the top of the ninth against Michael Hamann, but Hamann got a game-ending 1-6-3 double play to send the Rattlers to their third straight loss.
Wisconsin catcher Parker Berberet singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to fifteen games, the longest active streak in the Midwest League. Third baseman Mike Garza had a pair of singles and extended his hitting streak to ten games.
Game three of the series is Thursday night. Jorge Lopez (5-6, 5.31) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Tayler Scott (4-6, 4.33) is set to start for the Cougars. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
Jeimer Candelario (7th, 1 on in 8th inning off Harvey Martin, 1 out)
Rock Shoulders (17th, 0 on in 8th inning off Harvey Martin, 1 out)
WP: Sheldon McDonald (1-0)
LP: Harvey Martin (1-2)
SAVE: Michael Hamann (4)