PEORIA, IL - Starling Peralta and the Peoria Chiefs sent the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their fourth straight loss by handing Wisconsin a 7-3 defeat Monday night. The Chiefs took charge with some early runs while Peralta and two relievers kept the Timber Rattlers hitters in check.
The Chiefs (62-70 overall, 27-36 second half) scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. The first Peoria run scored on a throwing error. Tim Saunders stole third and scored with the throw sailed into left field. Later in the inning Jacob Rogers hit a two-run homer to right field for a 3-0. An error kept the inning going and eventually led to an unearned run scoring on a single by Bijan Rademacher.
Wisconsin (74-58, 30-33) got their first base runner of the game in the fifth inning. Cameron Garfield spoiled Peoria starting pitcher Starling Peralta's string of 12 straight batters retired with a leadoff single in the fifth. Garfield took second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out. Mike Garza drove in Garfield with a sacrifice fly to put the Rattlers on the scoreboard.
In the sixth, Max Walla's fly ball to center was lost in the lights and dropped behind the centerfielder for a triple that scored Chadwin Stang from first base. That pulled the Rattlers to within two runs.
Peoria scored a run in the bottom of the sixth and the Rattlers lost Garfield on the same play. Rademacher singled to left with two outs and Rogers headed to the plate. Lane Roenicke's throw was in time, but Rogers dove for the back part of the plate. Garfield went around with a sweep tag and Rogers was ruled safe. Both Garfield and pitcher Chad Pierce vehemently argued that Rogers had missed home plate. Manager Matt Erickson came out to protect his players and make his points. Garfield and Pierce had moved away from the manager and the umpire when the base umpire ejected Garfield.
The call stood and the Chiefs led 5-2. That was the final run allowed by Pierce, who tossed six innings and struck out five for the Rattlers.
Peralta struck out eight and allowed two runs over six innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. Peralta would win his fifth game of the season.
Peoria tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly by Chadd Krist and an RBI single by Rogers put the Chiefs up 7-2.
Wisconsin got a run in the ninth. Garza doubled to start the inning. He took third on a grounder. Lance Roenicke's sacrifice fly drove in Garza for the final run of the game.
The Chiefs have beaten Wisconsin in six of the last seven meetings between the teams..
Wisconsin and Peoria play for the final time this season on Tuesday night. David Goforth (9-8, 4.93) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers. Ben Wells (3-2, 3.60) is set to start for the Chiefs. 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.
Jacob Rogers (2nd, 1 on in 4th inning off Chad Pierce, 1 out)
WP: Starling Peralta (5-8)
LP: Chad Pierce (7-5)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.