GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were shutout 6-0 by the Quad Cities River Bandits in the final game of the 2013 season at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Friday night. The loss eliminated the Timber Rattlers from the playoff race.
Quad Cities (79-56 overall, 41-25 second half) had runners on the corners with no outs in the top of the third inning. Rattlers starting pitcher Rodolfo Fernandez gave up a leadoff single to Tony Kemp and Teoscar Hernandez dropped a bunt for a single. An ill-advised throw by Fernandez was wild to first and that allowed Kemp to go to third base. Fernandez got Carlos Correa to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but Kemp scored from third base for a 1-0 lead.
Fernandez got the first two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Then, a walk, an error, and another walk loaded the bases for the River Bandits. Fernandez hit Hernandez to force in a run. Correa followed with a two-run single to right on an 0-2 pitch. Terrell Joyce was next and singled to left to drive in the final run of the inning. That gave Quad Cities a 5-0 lead.
Wisconsin (59-73, 30-37) couldn't score against Zach Morton, the Quad Cities starter who was making his first Midwest League start. Morton tossed four scoreless innings before turning the game over to the Bandits bullpen.
Quad Cities added another run in the eighth inning off reliever Mike Strong. Hernandez doubled with two outs and Correa drove him home with a single to center.
Strong struck out nine over five innings of relief, but the damage had been done.
Plus, Wisconsin couldn't cross the plate. Mitchell Lambson took over for Morton and tossed three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. JD Osborne came on in the bottom of the eighth and tossed two scoreless innings to end the game.
The Clinton LumberKings defeated the Peoria Chiefs 4-2 at Dozer Park in Peoria, Illinois on Friday night. The win coupled with Wisconsin's loss allowed the LumberKings to clinch the second half Western Division Wild Card.
Chris McFarland had two hits to lead the Timber Rattlers offense. All five of Wisconsin's hits in the game came with two outs and they got just one runner to third base in the game. Friday was the seventh time the Rattlers have been shutout in 2013 and they finished the home portion of their schedule at 30-37.
The Timber Rattlers begin their final road trip of the season on Saturday night when they face the Burlington Bees at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. Tyler Wagner (10-8, 3.26) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Bees send Tyler DeLoach (5-5, 3.44) to the bump. 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.
WP: Mitchell Lambson (8-3)
LP: Rodolfo Fernandez (4-4)