GRAND CHUTE, WI - After three doubleheaders and the loss of three starting pitchers from the rotation that started the season, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers bullpen dug deep and did the job again. Wisconsin used four pitchers - all of whom have been regular relievers this season - and got just enough offense for a 4-3 win over the Burlington Bees Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Field.
Jameson Dunn, who just joined the Timber Rattlers on May 19, started the relay by making his first professional start. The Bees (30-13) got to Dunn for a pair of singles, including an RBI single by Douglas Landaeta, in the top of the first inning. But, that was all Kane County would get off Dunn. He tossed three innings and struck out three.
The Rattlers (24-19) went in front in the bottom of the first inning. TJ Mittelstaedt's one out triple sent Robbie Garvey home with the tying run. Chris Dennis followed with an RBI single for a 2-1 lead.
Dan Britt was the second man up from the relief corps on Sunday and he worked a 1-2-3 fourth. It looked like he would work a scoreless fifth inning, too. But, John Nester's slide to the plate knocked both the ball out of the glove and the glove off the hand of Britt after Nester looked to be out when he tried scoring from third on a ball that trickled away from Rattlers catcher Tyler Roberts for a wild pitch. Nester's run tied the game.
Rivera untied the game right away in the bottom of the fifth. The Rattlers shortstop launched on a 2-0 pitch from Bees starter Jonathan Joseph and the ball carried over the wall in left. Rivera, the ninth round pick of the Brewers in the 2010 draft, circled the bases with his first professional home run and gave the Rattlers a 3-2 lead.
Later in the fifth, Nick Shaw picked up his second hit of the game with a single. Mittelstaedt sent Shaw around to third with another single. Zach Thornton relieved Joseph after the Mittelstaedt hit, but could not keep Shaw from scoring. A passed ball charged to Nester let Shaw come home for a 4-2 lead.
Tyler Cravy, the third Rattlers reliever of the day, pitched a perfect sixth, but walked the first batter of the seventh, but retired the next two before walking another. Royce Consigli singled to drive a run and send the tying run to third.
Cravy passed the baton to Stosh Wawrzasek and the right-hander struck out Nino Leyja to end the threat.
Wawrzasek worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and retired the first batter of the ninth. But, a one out single put the tying run on base. Wawrzasek got a force out for the second out and finished with a flourish by striking out Nester to end the game for his first save of the season.
The Timber Rattlers wrap up their homestand on Monday afternoon with the final game in the series against the Bees. Milwaukee Brewers reliever Zach Braddock will make his third rehab start of the season for the Timber Rattlers when he takes the mound on Monday afternoon. Austin Ross (5-1, 1.64) was the scheduled starting pitcher for the Rattlers, but he will come on in relief. Burlington is planning on having Tyler Vail 0-1, 6.06) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 12:05pm.
Monday is Qdoba Q*Monday. Fans receive a free ticket to any Monday home game when they purchase a lunch entrée at the Qdoba by the Fox River Mall tomorrow. Monday is also a bonus Baker Tilley Business Person's Special with a box seat ticket, a beverage, and a brat or hot dog available for $11.50 and a business card. Senior citizens may also take advantage of this deal.
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the broadcast on AM 1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 11:45am.
Yadiel Rivera (1st, 0 on in 5th off Jonathan Joseph, 0 out)
WP: Dan Britt (3-1)
LP: Jonathan Joseph (0-1)
SAVE: Stosh Wawrzasek (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.