BURLINGTON, IA - The Burlington Bees tuned up for the playoffs by defeating the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4-1 on Wednesday night at Community Field. Bees starting pitcher Jose Macias struck out six over seven shutout innings and rode an early three run outburst to his eighth win of the season.
The Bees (7361 overall, 28-36) got on the board first with three runs in the second inning. Consecutive singles by AJ Kirby-Jones and Douglas Landaeta out runners at the corners to start the frame. Beau Taylor grounded into a force play at second that got Kirby-Jones home.
Taylor was at second with two outs and Wade Kirkland singled to left. The throw home by Jason Rogers was a bit off line, but Rattlers catcher Rafael Neda acted as if he had tagged Taylor at the plate for the third out. But, Taylor was ruled safe for a 2-0 lead.
On that scoring play, Kirkland had moved up to second base. He would score the third run of the inning on a single by Tyreace House.
Burlington, a team headed to the Midwest League playoffs based on winning the first half Western Division Championship, added a run in the third inning. Kirby Jones grounded out to short to drive in a run from third base to make it 4-0 Bees.
The Rattlers (66-69, 28-37) were held to two hits by Burlington starter Jose Macias through seven innings. No Rattlers runner made it past second base with Macias in the game.
TJ Mittelstaedt cracked a one-out homer in the top of the ninth off Bees reliever TJ Walz to help the Rattlers avoid the shutout. Mittelstaedt, who also had a single in the first inning, had two of Wisconsin's three hits. He also walked and stole a base.
But, it wasn't enough for Wisconsin as they dropped their third straight game.
Game two of the series is Thursday night at Community Field. Del Howell (3-8, 5.63) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Jonathan Joseph (5-4, 5.88) is scheduled to start for the Bees. 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.
TJ Mittelstaedt (11th, 0 on in 9th inning, off TJ Walz, 1 out)
WP: Jose Macias (8-3)
LP: Brooks Hall (7-5)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.