DAVENPORT, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers did just about everything right in a 7-0 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park. On the pitching side of the ledger, Tyler Wagner and Harvey Martin combined on a one-hitter. They got more than enough support from the offense as Victor Roache blasted two homers and Mike Garza hit one. Both Roache and Garza drove in three runs in the game, Wisconsin's second straight win.
The Rattlers (50-64 overall, 21-27 second half) pounced on the River Bandits (67-49, 29-18) in the first inning. Tyrone Taylor doubled to start the game. Garza blooped a single down the right field line to drive in Taylor for the first run of the game. Roache was next and he lined a 2-0 pitch from Quad Cities starting pitcher Joe Bircher over the wall in right-center for a two-run home run and a 3-0 lead. The home run was his nineteenth of the season.
Garza knocked in his second run of the game in the third inning. Michael Reed doubled with one out. Garza singled to left and Reed got the hand in under the tag of Quad Cities catcher Roberto Pena. The closeness of the play brought River Bandits manager Omar Lopez out of the dugout to argue and he overstayed his welcome. Lopez was ejected before play was finally restarted.
Parker Berberet tripled to start a Wisconsin rally in the top of the fourth. Tyler Roberts dropped a single over the drawn in infield with one out and Berberet scored for a 5-0 lead.
Garza made it 6-0 in the top of the fifth. He jumped on the first pitch of the inning and crushed a home run to left-center. It was the second game in a row with a home run by Garza.
Wagner tossed five shutout innings. The only hit he allowed was a two-out, seeing-eye single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth. Wagner walked two and struck out five in his five innings before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Roache padded Wisconsin's lead in the top of the seventh. He lined the first pitch from Quad Cities reliever Daniel Minor beyond the grass seating in left-center field for his second home run of the night. The homer, his twentieth of the season, put Roache in an exclusive Wisconsin Timber Rattlers club. Since the Timber Rattlers came into existence in 1995, only four other players - Khris Davis, Matt Hagen, Juan Silvestre, and Brock Kjeldgaard - had hit twenty or more home runs in a season. Davis, who hit 22 in 2010, holds the franchise record.
Martin took over for Wagner in the bottom of the sixth and tossed four scoreless and hitless innings to pick up his second save of the season.
Game two of the three game series at Modern Woodmen Park is Sunday evening. Wisconsin has scheduled Jorge Lopez (6-7, 5.22) as their starting pitcher. The River Bandits will send Brian Holmes (3-3, 3.27) to the mound. Game time is 5:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 4:40pm.
Victor Roache (19th, 1 on in 1st inning off Joe Bircher, 1 out)
Mike Garza (4th, 0 on in 5th inning off Joe Bircher, 0 out)
Victor Roache (20th, 0 on in 7th inning off Daniel Minor, 0 out)
WP: Tyler Wagner (9-8)
LP: Joe Bircher (3-2)
SAVE: Harvey Martin 92)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.