|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Walker homers Rattlers past Burlington05/23/2011 5:50 PM ET
By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
GRAND CHUTE, WI - Mike Walker's two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers their first lead over the Burlington Bees on Monday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field. Rattlers closer Greg Holle made that lead hold up as he got the final six outs in the 4-3 win.
The game started late because Zach Braddock, Wisconsin's scheduled starting pitcher, was scratched with a problem fingernail on his pitching hand. The game was delayed by 16 minutes to allow Austin Ross to warm up to make the start.
Burlington (30-14) was ready for Ross. Douglas Landaeta doubled to drive in Nino Leyja in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin (25-19) rallied to tie the game in the third. Nick Shaw's two-out RBI single drove in Greg Hopkins and evened the game 1-1.
The Bees got to Ross again in the fourth inning. Yordy Cabrera singled and AJ Kirby-Jones followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Jose Rivero stepped up and sent a hard grounder to Hopkins at third base. Hopkins looked Cabrera back to third before starting a 5-4-3 double play. Cabrera, who started for the plate just as Hopkins sent the ball to second, barely beat Walker's throw from first to the plate and slid home with a run for a 2-1 lead.
Hopkins had a hand in tying the game at two. Robbie Garvey singled to start the inning and took second on a grounder to short. Hopkins followed with a single to center and Garvey raced home with the run to even the game.
Burlington took the lead during a brief downpour of rain in the top of the sixth. The skies above Time Warner Cable Field had been alternating between rainy gray and sunny blue for most of the afternoon, but Kirby-Jones sent a one out blast through a sudden squall to right field for a double that moved Cabrera around to third base. THe rain slacked a bit, but Ross uncorked a wild pitch to let Cabrera score the run to make the score 3-2. Plus, Kirby-Jones was at third with an insurance run.
Ross struck out Jose Rivero for the second out of the inning. Then, Eric Marzec relieved to get the final out and keep Kirby-Jones at third.
The skies had turned sunny again by the time TJ Mittelstaedt drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. One out later, Walker found himself down in the count 0-2. He fouled one pitch from Burlington starter Tyler Vail. He crushed the next pitch to the Burlington bullpen beyond the wall in left-center. Walker's eighth home run of the season put the Rattlers up 4-3.
Just before the Bees batted in the top of the eighth inning, the skies opened up again and forced a delay of twenty minutes.
Rattlers closer Greg Holle had started to run in from the bullpen just before the delay. He was ready when play restarted. Holle struck out a pair in the eighth and worked around a two out single for a scoreless inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his eleventh save in eleven save opportunities.
Wisconsin wrapped up their seven-day, 10-game road trip with a 7-3 record. They went 3-2 against the Beloit Snappers before taking four of five from the Midwest League Western Division leading Bees.
The Rattlers will vacate Time Warner Cable Field until June 7 and begin a four-city, 14-game, 13-day road trip on Tuesday evening.
The first stop for Wisconsin is Peoria, Illinois for a series with the Peoria Chiefs at O'Brien Field. Tuesday's pitching matchup features Tyler Thornburg (3-0, 1.75) for the Timber Rattlers and Su-Min Jung (2-0, 2.50) for the Chiefs. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.
WP: Eric Marzec (2-0)
TIME: 2:59 (:20 delay)