Rattlers slug their way past Dayton

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | June 4, 2011 6:23 PM ET

DAYTON, OH - Tyler Thornburg was on the hill for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Saturday night at Fifth Third Field in Dayton and the Wisconsin offense helped Thornburg to his fifth win of the season by banging out 14 hits in a 13-2 win over the Dragons. Reggie Keen homered, tripled, and scored three runs and Tyler Roberts drove in four runs for the Rattlers.

Keen got the Rattlers (29-27) off to a flying start. The Wisconsin centerfielder drove the second pitch of the game to the gap in left-center. He was halfway to third by the time the ball was retrieved by leftfielder Jaren Matthews. Then, Matthews dropped the ball. Keen raced for home and beat the relay throw of shortstop Billy Hamilton. The play was ruled a triple and an E-7, but the end result was a 1-0 Wisconsin lead.

Keen got things going again in the third inning. He lined a 3-1 pitch from Dragons starting pitcher Daniel Tuttle to the bleachers in left for a homer and a 2-0 lead.

It appeared that the Rattlers would only get that one run in the third as Tuttle retired the next two batters. Then, Tuttle walked the next three Wisconsin batters to load the bases. Roberts worked the count to 3-2 and drove the next pitch into the right field corner for a three-run double and a 5-0 lead.

Wisconsin kept the offense going in the fourth inning. Greg Hopkins doubled to right with the bases loaded to drive in a pair of runs. Another run scored on the second of five errors committed by the Dragons. Then, Roberts knocked in another run with a single for a 9-0 lead.

Thornburg was on cruise control. The right hander worked around a one out double in the bottom of the fourth to extend his scoreless streak to 23-1/3 innings.

Wisconsin added two more runs in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 12-0. Nick Shaw doubled in a run. Cody followed with a two-run single.

The Dragons (28-28) ended Thornburg's scoreless streak at 23-2/3 innings with a one out RBI single by Devin Lohman in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Rattlers starter bounced back with a 1-2-3 sixth inning.

Yadiel Rivera doubled in a run in the top of the seventh and the Rattlers were up 13-1.

The Dragons scored another run in the bottom of the seventh on two-out single by Lohman. Brian Garman relieved Thornburg and got the final out of the inning.

Thornburgh went 6-2/3 innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out seven. He is now 5-0 on the season.

Wisconsin went down in order in the top of the eighth inning. Before the Wisconsin defenders could head out to their positions for the bottom of the eighth, the umpires called for the tarp. The Fifth Third Field grounds crew got the tarp down just before a hard rain started to fall.

The game was ruled over after a rain delay of 32 minutes.

The Timber Rattlers conclude their 13-day road trip on Sunday afternoon with the final game of their series against the Dragons. Brooks Hall (1-0, 3.94) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Dayton has Tanner Robles (3-4, 5.62) on the mound. Game time is 1:00pm CDT. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:40pm.

Reggie Keen (3rd, 0 on in 3rd inning, off Daniel Tuttle, 0 out)

WP: Tyler Thornburg (5-0)
LP: Daniel Tuttle (4-3)

TIME: 2:22 (:32 delay)
ATTN: 8,482

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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