DAVENPORT, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers needed a win on Monday night at Modern Woodmen Park to keep their chances at a return to the Midwest League playoffs realistic. They were facing the Quad Cities River Bandits and Mark Appel, the #1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Wisconsin responded with a 9-1 victory to back up six strong innings from Austin Ross.
Alfredo Rodriguez started the Timber Rattlers offense in the third inning with a leadoff double to center. It was the first of four hits for Rodriguez on the night. Tyler Roberts followed with a sharp single to center to put runners on the corners. Orlando Arcia grounded into a force play at second to retire Roberts, but Rodriguez scored on the play for the 1-0 lead. Tyrone Taylor followed with a single to put runners on the corners again. Michael Reed drove in Arcia for a 2-0 advantage.
Wisconsin (51-64 overall, 22-28 second half) added to their lead by getting aggressive against Appel in the top of the fourth inning. Max Walla doubled to right-center on the first pitch of the inning. Parker Berberet followed with a single on the second pitch of the inning to put runners on the corners. Rodriguez knocked in Walla with the an RBI single on the third pitch of the inning. The single by Rodriguez sent Berberet around to third base. Roberts waited three whole pitches into his at bat before sending a fly ball to right that was deep enough to score Berberet for a 4-0 lead.
Arcia cracked the first pitch of his fourth inning at bat to right on a hit-and-run to get Rodriguez around to third base. Then, Tyrone Taylor cracked the first pitch of his at bat down the third base line for a two-run double and a 6-0 lead. That double by Taylor knocked Appel out of the game.
Mitchell Lambson took over on the hill and get the second out, but Mike Garza drove in the final run of the inning with a single. The Rattlers were comfortably in front 7-0.
Ross tossed six innings in his longest start since he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 10, 2012. Ross walked one and struck out four. The only hit he allowed was a one out single in the sixth.
Taylor extended the lead to 8-0 with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning.
Quad Cities (68-50, 30-19) got their only run of the game on an RBI double by Austin Elkins in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Chris Razo.
The Rattlers added a final run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Berberet.
The victory gave Wisconsin a series win at Modern Woodmen Park as they took two of three from the River Bandits. The series win marked the first road series win for the Rattlers in the second half of the season. They had been 0-6-1 until this series with the River Bandits.
Wisconsin's offense collected 15 hits in the game and kept their playoff hopes alive. Peoria, the current leaders in the second half Western Division Wild Card leaders, lost at Clinton on Monday night. The Rattlers are within three games of the Chiefs with 20 games remaining in the regular season.
The Timber Rattlers are off on Tuesday. They return to action on Wednesday night at home to start a brief three-game series with Peoria, the team they are trying to catch in the standings. Preston Gainey (4-7, 5.90) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Chris Perry (2-1, 2.64) is set to start for the Chiefs. Game time is 7:05pm.
Wednesday night is a WIXX Bang for Your Buck Night and Thrivent Financial Night. Bang for Your Buck with WIXX means $1 Cher-Make hot dogs, $1 Pepsi Products, and $1 Miller Beers! Thrivent Financial Night features a special Wednesday night fireworks display after the game presented by Thrivent Financial.
If you can't make it to the ballpark, there are several ways to catch the action. The television broadcast is on My NEW32's Sports Showdown starting with the pregame show at 6:30pm. The radio call may be heard on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Subscribers to MiLB.TV may watch the game on their computers.
WP: Austin Ross (1-0)
LP: Mark Appel (0-1)