GENEVA, IL - Kane County Cougars third baseman Michael Antonio was hitting .182 with no home runs heading into Monday afternoon's game against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Antonio collected three hits, including a grand slam home run in the third inning, to lead the Cougars to a 9-2 victory over the Rattlers.
Max Walla gave the Rattlers (23-15) a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Ben McMahan doubled with Nick Ramirez at first to put runners at second and third with one out. Walla's grounder to second got Ramirez home for the lead.
The Cougars (20-18) came back with a two-out, two-run home run by Murray Watts in the bottom of the second inning. Antonio had doubled with one out in the inning and scored ahead of Watts line a pitch just over the wall in right field for his seventh homer of the season.
Justin Trapp tripled with one out in the bottom of the third, but he was still at third with two outs. Then, Rattlers starter Chad Thompson walked the next two batters to load the bases. Thompson fell behind Antonio 3-1. The Cougars third baseman cracked a long homer to left on the next pitch for a grand slam and a 6-1 Kane County lead.
Kevin Shackelford got the final out of the third, but did not fare much better in the fourth. Kane County scored three runs in the frame to grab a 9-1 advantage. Danny Mateo had an RBI double. Jorge Bonifacio singled in another run. The final run came home on a fielder's choice by Lane Adams.
Yadiel Rivera got Wisconsin back on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning with a long home run to left. Rivera's third home run of the season made the score 9-2. But, Moen was solid the rest of the day. He allowed two runs on four hits without walking a batter and striking out four in six innings.
Rattlers reliever Mark Williams came on in the bottom of the fifth and had a nice outing. He worked four shutout innings, walked two, allowed one hit, and struck out five.
But, a pair of Kane County relievers combined to work three scoreless innings to secure Kane County's second straight win over Wisconsin.
The Timber Rattlers and Cougars wrap up their four game series Tuesday morning. David Goforth (3-2, 4.67) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Robinson Yambati (1-0, 3.60) is set to start for Kane County. Game time is 11:00am. Tune in for the Miller Lite Pregame Show on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting at 10:40am.
Yadiel Rivera (3rd, 0 on in 6th inning off Kellen Moen, 0 out)
Murray Watts (7th, 1 on in 2nd inning off Chad Thompson, 2 out)
Michael Antonio (1st, 3 on in 3rd inning off Chad Thompson, 2 out)
WP: Kellen Moen (2-1)
LP: Chad Thompson (1-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.