GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored four times in the bottom of the second inning and beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-3 Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Tyler Alexander tossed five innings for the win and Taylor Williams went four innings for the save as the Rattlers closed out a homestand with a win.
Cedar Rapids (35-48 overall, 4-9 second half) took the lead with an unearned run in the top of the second. Jason Kanzler drew a walk with one out. An errant pickoff throw by catcher Clint Coulter allowed Kanzler to go around to third base. JD Williams knocked in Kanzler with a sacrifice fly.
The Timber Rattlers (44-39, 8-6) responded in the bottom of the second by loading the bases with no outs against Kernels starter Ryan Eades. Taylor Brennan singled, Rafael Neda doubled, and Omar Garcia walked. Eades got the first out. Then, Angel Ortega doubled to right to knock in Brennan and Neda for a 2-1 lead.
Eades walked Johnny Davis to reload the bases and Chris McFarland's sacrifice fly to right was deep enough to score Garcia for a 3-1 lead.
Michael Ratterree drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases one more time. Clint Coulter cashed in a run with a single to left.
Alexander allowed one more run in his outing. The Kernels loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth on a pair of singles and an error. Chad Christensen's sacrifice fly scored a run to make it 4-2. Alexander, who has won four straight decisions, closed out his evening by striking out the next two batters.
Brennan extended the Wisconsin lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth when he launched his ninth home run of the season. Brennan's ninth home run of the season was a solo shot to left.
Taylor Williams allowed three hits and had an error committed in the field when he came on in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Walker singled to right with one out to drive in a run, but Ratterree threw him out at second base as Walker tried to stretch his hit into a double. Williams struck out Zack Granite for the final out of the inning.
Williams, who is now 5-0 with two saves in his last seven appearances, closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh and a 1-2-3 eighth. In the ninth, the Kernels had two on with two out and the lead run at the plate in the person of Christensen. Williams won the battle by striking out Christensen on three pitches. The Rattlers righty struck out six over his four innings and is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this season.
The Timber Rattlers begin a road trip on Friday night with a game against the Quad Cities River Bandits. Preston Gainey (2-5, 4.29) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The River Bandits have named Adrian Houser (4-3, 4.40) as their starter. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune into the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm. Friday's game is also available on MiLB.TV.
Taylor Brennan (9th, 0 on in 5th inning off Ryan Eades, 1 out)
WP: Tyler Alexander (5-3)
LP: Ryan Eades (5-8)
SAVE: Taylor Williams (3)