GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Burlington Bees snapped a five game losing streak by cracking four key two-out hits to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8-3 Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Bees got five RBI from Wade Kirkland and six solid innings from Raul Alcantara to top the Rattlers.
Burlington (18-22) scored single runs in the first and second inning off Wisconsin starting pitcher Matt Miller to take a 2-0 lead. A two-out RBI double by Dusty Robinson in the first and a two-out RBI single by Sean Jamieson in the second gave the Bees their runs.
Wisconsin (24-17) came back in the bottom of the second inning with a couple of two out runs of their own to tie the game. Max Walla singled with two away and none on base. Yadiel Rivera drove in Walla with a triple. Tyler Roberts was at the plate and waiting on a 3-2 pitch from Alcantara. The Bees righty was on the way home with the pitch when he stopped in mid-delivery. The balk allowed Rivera to trot home with the tying run.
But, Miller gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Kirkalnd in the top of the third inning and the Rattlers trailed 4-2. The Rattlers starting pitcher reached 70 pitches and was done after three innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Wisconsin reliever Michael Strong took over in the fourth and loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a single. Strong got the second out, but Kirkland came through with another big hit. The Bees third baseman doubled into the left field corner on an 0-2 pitch to drive in all three runs for a 7-2 lead.
Walla drove in Wisconsin's third run with a two out single in the bottom of the fourth inning. But, Alcantara retired seven of the last eight batters he faced and kept the Rattlers from scoring again as he wrapped up his six innings of work. He walked one and struck out four in the game for his third win of the season.
Strong settled in after his first inning of relief and would strike out nine over four innings. Strong, who struck out 13 in seven innings during a game in the Arizona League last season, set a new season high for K's by a Timber Rattlers pitcher in a single game.
The Bees got one more run when Robinson hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning off Tyler Cravy. Robinson's ninth home run of the season came with one out in the inning.
The final game of the series is Friday night at 6:35pm. Drew Gagnon (3-1, 2.01) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Sean Murphy (3-3, 1.27) is slated to start for the Cougars.
Break out the costumes and get ready to trick or treat! The Rattlers have a lot of spooky plots for Halloween in May at the ballpark on Friday night!
Plus, it's a North Shore Bank Family night. Children 12 and under eat free and - after the game - children 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases presented by Jernegan's Health Mart.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Friday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
WP: Raul Alcantara (3-4)
LP: Matt Miller (2-4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.