GRAND CHUTE, WI - This wasn't the way the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers wanted to start their final homestand of the first half. Steve Goodnight and two Lake County relievers tossed a 9-0 shutout and held the Timber Rattlers to six hits Tuesday night at Time Warner Cable Field. Plus, Wisconsin lost ground in the Western Division playoff chase.
Ronny Rodriguez broke the scoreless tie with a leadoff home run for the Captains (27-31) in the top of the fourth inning.
Rattlers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson retired the first two Lake County batters he faced in the top of the fifth. Then, Nick Bartolone singled. Nelson walked the next two batters to load the bases. Rodriguez kept the inning going with a two-run single to left. Carlos Moncrie followed with an RBI single. An error on the play allowed Rodriguez to take third base. A wild pitch by Nelson let Rodriguez score the fourth run of the inning and the Captains were up 5-0.
Goodnight pitched six innings, allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out four to put himself in a position to win his third straight decision. Wisconsin (30-28) had two runners on base in the same inning one time against Goodnight. But, Goodnight escaped harm with a 4-6-3 double play in the bottom of the fourth.
Lake County put the game away in the late innings. They scored two unearned runs in the eighth inning. Rodriguez tripled to start the inning. Alex Monsalve was walked intentionally with one out, but Rodriguez scored and Monsalve took second on a passed ball. Monsalve took third on an errant pickoff throw by Charly Bashara and scored when Reggie Keen overran the ball in center. Those were two of the four errors committed by the Rattlers in the game.
The Captains put two more runs on the board in the ninth on a two run triple by Brent Heere to account for the 9-0 final.
Wisconsin's playoff hopes took a hit as well. Burlington, the Western Division leaders, won their game against South Bend 6-3 and the Rattlers are now 9-1/2 games out in the division race. Quad Cities, the leaders in the race for the Western Division Wild Card race, defeated Lansing 5-3. The Rattlers trail Quad Cities by two games for the Wild Card. Wisconsin has twelve games remaining in their season.
Game two of the series is Wednesday afternoon at 12:05pm. Wednesday is an AMERICAN TV Win-It Wednesday with a Baker Tilly Business Person's Special. Every fan aged 16 and older will receive a scratch-off ticket and every ticket is a winner with prizes from the Timber Rattlers and American TV of Appleton. The Baker Tilly Business Person's Special is a box seat ticket, a beverage, and a brat or hot dog for $11.50 and a business card. Senior citizens may also take advantage of this deal.
Wednesday is also a 'School's Out Day' where kids can come out and receive a free meal, enjoy complimentary inflatable games and play free at the Kids Zone.
Plus, Matt Bailey, a member of the cast of Jersey Boys, currently playing at the Fox Cities PAC, will be on hand to sing the national anthem.
The Rattlers are sending Jameson Dunn (1-0, 1.02) to the hill as the starting pitcher. The Captains have Steven Wright (1-1, 1.69) as their scheduled starter. Game time is 12:05pm.
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 11:45am.
Ronny Rodriguez (2nd, 0 on in 4th, off Jimmy Nelson, 0 out)
WP: Mike Goodnight (5-3)
LP: Jimmy Nelson (1-6)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.