GRAND CHUTE, WI -- It was close, but in the end the Dayton Dragons sent the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their sixth consecutive loss. Dayton beat the Rattlers 5-2 Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Daryl Thompson allowed two runs and got his fifth win of the season for Dayton.
Dayton (19-4) got on the board first. Juan Francisco's two-out RBI single in the third inning gave the Dragons a 1-0 advantage.
Wisconsin (4-19) answered in the bottom of the third. Andy Hargrove doubled with one out. Ougi Diaz drove in Hargrove with a two-out double. The run against Thompson was the first he had allowed in 22-2/3 innings.
The Rattlers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Danny Santin, who just joined the Timber Rattlers today, singled with two outs to knock in Leury Bonilla from second base for a 2-1 lead. At this point Thompson was on the hook for the loss.
However, Dayton regrouped and grabbed the lead with a two-out rally in the top of the sixth. Chris Heisey doubled to go on with the tying run. Tony Esquer followed with an RBI double to tie the game. Then, the Rattler defense betrayed them. Ougi Diaz made a good play to field a slow grounder off the bat of Billy Rojo. But, his throw to first was high and Hargrove could not hold the ball. Esquer kept running and scored the go ahead run.
Wisconsin attempted a comeback late in the game. Carlos Triunfel singled with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Then, the Dragons went to their closer, Jose Rojas. Triunfel stole second to get the tying run into scoring position. Rojas struck out Bonilla and got Carlos Peguero to ground out to end the threat.
In the ninth, Timber Rattler frustrations bubbled over. Dayton had runners at second and third with no out. The Wisconsin infielders were playing in on the grass to cut down the run at the plate. Justin Turner hit a grounder right to Bonilla at third base. Bonilla dove for the runner at third and appeared to have tagged him out. Base umpire Alex Diaz ruled the runner safe and Rattler manager Jim Horner sprinted out of the dugout to argue the call. After a brief, but heated argument Horner was ejected. Just before the next pitch was ready to be delivered, Diaz ejected Bonilla.
When play finally resumed, Chris Valaika singled to center, two runs scored, and the Dragons had a 5-2 lead.
Rojas finished off the Rattlers in the bottom of the ninth by striking out the side.
The Rattlers begin an eight game road trip Friday night with a game against the South Bend Silver Hawks. Chris Tillman (1-1, 2.87) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. South Bend has Tony Barnette (1-1, 2.39) as their scheduled starter. Game time at Coveleski Regional Stadium is 7:00EDT/6:00pm CDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.