LANSING, MI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a 2-1 lead over the Lansing Lugnuts heading into the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium. But, the Lugnuts bats came alive late and they defeated the Rattlers 14-2. The loss ended Wisconsin's four-game winning streak.
Tucker Neuhaus gave the Timber Rattlers (37-55 overall, 11-13 second half) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Neuhaus lined a pitch over the wall in left and off the foul pole for his thirteenth home run of the season.
Ronnie Gideon doubled to start the Wisconsin third inning and avoided a tag at third on a grounder back to the mound off the bat of Gilbert Lara. Carlos Belonis dropped in a single to right to score Gideon from third and the Rattlers lead was 2-0.
Lansing (45-45, 8-16) got to within a run with some help in the bottom of the fourth. Joshua Palacios reached second base on a grounder to Weston Wilson at first base that was misplayed for an error to start the inning. He moved to third on a fly ball to center. Mitch Nay knocked in Palacios with a ground out.
That unearned run was the only run allowed by Wisconsin starting pitcher Cameron Roegner. The left-hander pitched five innings, gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out five. He left with the lead. He would get a no decision.
Lansing scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning against Wisconsin reliever Nattino Diplan. They tied the game on a leadoff home run by Javier Hernandez. Diplan got the first out of the inning, but gave up back-to-back doubles by Palacios and Edward Olivares and the Lugnuts had a 3-2 lead. A two-out single by Nash Knight drove in Olivares and the Lugnuts were up 4-2.
Wisconsin had a chance against Ravel in the top of the seventh inning. Neuhaus singled for his third hit of the game with one out and Devin Hairston followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Ravel got the second out with his seventh strikeout of the game. Lansing reliever Nick Hartman took over for Ravel and got the final out on a grounder to short.
The Lugnuts added a run in the seventh inning on a two-out RBI double by Palacios off Diplan.
They would put the game away in the eighth inning as they sent fourteen batters to the plate and scored nine runs. Diplan gave up consecutive singles to start the inning before getting the first out with a liner to second. Luis Silva drove Diplan out of the game with an RBI double that was just fair down the third base line.
Colton Cross, who picked up the save on Friday night by working through a tough spot in the bottom of the ninth inning at Great Lakes for the Rattlers, came into the game in relief of Diplan. The first seven Lansing batters he faced reached base.
A hit batsman to the first batter Cross faced loaded the bases. Hernandez sent a grounder under Gilbert Lara's glove at third for what was ruled a double and two runs scored. Rodrigo Orozco was next and he drove in two more runs with another double and the lead ballooned to 9-2.
A single put runners on the corners and an error by Lara let Orozco score. Cross walked the next two batters. The first loaded the bases. The second forced in a run. The second out of the inning was recorded when Ridge Smith sent another run home with a sacrifice fly. The ninth and final run of the inning scored on a single by Silva.
The Rattlers went down in order in the top of the ninth.
The Lugnuts had one hit through the first five innings. They had 13 hits in their final three turns at the plate.
The final game of the series - and of Wisconsin's road trip - is Monday. Victor Diaz (0-3, 5.75) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kyle Weatherly (0-1, 67.50) is set to start for the Lugnuts. Game time is 11:05am CDT. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Pregame Show at 10:45am. The broadcast is also available on TuneIn Radio and IHeartRadio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.