PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs won't go away. The Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Dozer Park. The win pulled the Chiefs back to within three games of the Timber Rattlers in the second half Western Division playoff standings with 21 games remaining in the season.
Peoria (62-56 overall, 25-24 second half) scored an unearned run against Wei-Chung Wang in the bottom of the first. Vaughn Bryan walked to start the inning. Wang got CJ McElroy, Jr to send a double play ball to short, but the ball was missed for an error that put runners on the corners. McElroy would steal second to give Peoria runners at second and third. Justin Ringo's grounder to second was enough to get Bryan home for a 1-0.
Jose Pena put the Rattlers (64-54, 28-21) in front in the top of the second inning with a two-run single to left with two outs.
Wang, who is on a MLB rehabilitation assignment for the Milwaukee Brewers, worked a scoreless second and got the first two outs of the bottom of the third inning. But, McElroy singled to right and stole second. Carson Kelly followed with a single to drive in McElroy with the tying run. Wang got Ringo to send a slow grounder to first, but Ringo beat Wang to the base for an infield single to keep the inning alive. Ronald Castillo would be next and his single drove in Kelly for a 3-2 Peoria lead.
Wang pitched three innings, allowed three runs - two earned - on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Barrett Astin relieved Wang in the bottom of the fourth and walked Cesar Valera to start the inning. Rafael Medina followed with a two-run homer and Peoria was up 5-3.
Wisconsin would close to within a run with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Pena lead off the Wisconsin fifth inning with a home run. David Denson doubled to start the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Davis to close to within 5-4.
But, the Chiefs added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning against Chris Razo on a sacrifice fly by Richy Pedroza to make it 6-4. The Rattlers would not threaten to score after that.
The win earned the Chiefs a split in the four-game series at Dozer Park. The teams will meet again in Peoria in a three-game series from August 21-23.
The Timber Rattlers have their final scheduled off day of the regular season on Monday. They return to action on Tuesday night at home against the Clinton LumberKings. Clint Terry (3-2, 2.41) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Clinton plans to send Carlos Misell (8-9, 4.30) to the mound as their starter. Game time is 7:05pm.
Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado was a Timber Rattler in 2009 and he is the next bobblehead in the 20th Anniversary Series. The first 1,000 fans to attend Tuesday's game will receive the Martin Maldonado bobblehead courtesy of Baycom.
Tuesday is a Throwback Night as part of the 20th Anniversary season presented by Bergstrom Automotive. Tickets are thrown back to 1995 prices of $5 for box seats, $4 for reserved bleacher seats, and $3 for grass seats. Plus, look for a special item at the concession stands to be thrown back to its 1995 price and The Timber Rattlers players and coaches will be wearing jerseys based on the ones worn by the 1995 Rattlers.
Baycom also presents Emergency Services Night. Police, Fire, first responders, and other emergency services workers are honored before and during the game.
Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $13.50 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage, and your choice of brat or hot dog to take advantage of the Baker Tilly Business Person special. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older) courtesy of WVBO and AM1280 WNAM.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are many ways to catch the action on Tuesday. MyNEW32's Sports Showdown will have the television broadcast starting at 7:00pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM and IHeartRadio starting at 6:45pm. Subscribers to MiLB.TV can follow the game, too.
Jose Pena (9th, 0 on in
Rafael Medina (2nd, 1 on in 4th inning off Barrett Astin, 0 out)
WP: Kyle Helisek (1-0)
LP: Wei-Chung Wang (0-1)
SAVE: Kyle Barraclough (4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.