PEORIA, IL - Franklin Romero, Jr. finished a double shy of the cycle, but he probably didn't mind too much. Romero delivered a three-run triple in the sixth inning to put the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in front of the Peoria Chiefs. Wisconsin went on to beat the Chiefs 7-4 Wednesday night at O'Brien Field for their third consecutive victory.
Peoria (53-68 overall, 20-31 second half) got on the board in the second inning. Micah Gibbs cracked a two-run home run to left-center to put the Chiefs up 2-0.
Wisconsin (60-61, 22-29) rallied back in the top of the third. Romero singled to start the inning and stole second. TJ Mittelstaedt tried to bunt Romero over twice, but fouled off each attempt. Then, Mittelstaedt lined a single to right to score Romero. Mittelstaedt took second on the throw to the plate. Nick Shaw advanced Mittelstaedt to third on a sacrifice bunt.
Cody Hawn, in his first game since July 18, knocked in Mittelstaedt with a grounder to short that tied the game 2-2.
Nick Ramirez gave the Rattlers a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning with a towering home run to right field. The homer was the second for the 2011 fourth round pick of the Brewers since joining the Timber Rattlers.
But, the lead did not last long. A two-out, two-run homer by Rubi Silva in the bottom of the fourth inning put the Chiefs up 4-3.
But, that lead did not last long. Romero lined a leadoff home run in the top of the fifth inning to even the game 4-4.
It appeared that the game would head to the bottom of the sixth still tied 4-4. Peoria starting pitcher Starling Peralta retired the first two batters he faced, but walked Chad Stang. Brandon Macias was next and his grounder to short was mishandled for an error to keep the inning alive. Then, Joey Paciorek drew a walk to load the bases. That ended the night for Peralta.
Romero greeted Peoria reliever Ramon Garcia back driving his first pitch of the gap in right-center for a three-run triple and a 7-4 Wisconsin lead.
Howell worked a scoreless sixth and turned the ball over to Greg Holle. The tall right-hander out of TCU pitched three scoreless innings to earn his eighteenth save of the season. Holle is within one save of tying the franchise record of 19, which was set by John Thompson in 1995.
Romero finished the night 3-for-4. He grounded out to short in the eighth in his final at bat of the night. He drove in four runs and stole his eighteenth base of the season in the game.
Game two of the series is Thursday night at O'Brien Field. Wisconsin has named Jimmy Nelson (6-8, 4.52) as their scheduled starting pitcher. Luis Liria (1-3, 5.24) is scheduled to start for the Chiefs. Game time is 7:00pm.
You can tune in for the game on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.
Nick Ramirez (2nd, 0 on in 4th inning, off Starling Peralta, 0 out)
Franklin Romero, Jr. (2nd, 0 on in 5th inning, off Starling Peralta, 0 out)
Micah Gibbs (2nd, 1 on in 2nd inning, off Del Howell, 0 out)
Rubi Silva (2nd, 1 on in 4th inning, off Del Howell, 2 out)
WP: Del Howell (2-7)
LP: Starling Peralta (2-4)
SAVE: Greg Holle (18)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.